Attorney Michael Inzelbuch: Stop the blame – Stay on Target

In response to the constant blaming of the non-public school community, expert Attorney Michael Inzelbuch made the following points to ensure we stay focused and on target: 

1. The public and non-public communities must work together. The State and the small but loud hatemongers “love” when there is division. Granted, there are some competing interests, however, there are many issues that can be worked on together such as additional State funding thru litigation –not meaningless Resolutions.

2. Support our hard-working public-school staff. The Board should not agree to any layoffs. The Superintendent should be instructed that no “notices” go out to anyone she considers is helping our public-school kids. Let the State “own” the problem.

3. The Title 1 Audit of $3.9 million should be reviewed immediately by outside counsel (not me). Unfortunately, it appears that the approximate $2.9 million of alleged public school misuse and $1 million of alleged nonpublic non complaince could have and should have been successfully challenged in Court and was not. This would bring potentially millions of dollars in to the district that, in part, is causing the current deficit.

4. All efforts must be made to sit down with the NJDOE approved private schools in a collaborative fashion who service Lakewood public school children to negotiate efficiencies. Granted, the NJDOE sets the tuition rates for approved private schools for the disabled, but, I believe there can be a willingness to effectuate efficiencies as the Lakewood public school district is the sending district (willingly or not) of many of the students who attend out of district schools.

5. Create more options for non-public children thru the creation and/or revamping of existing special education programs that would provide better services and serve as more cost-efficient options.

6. DEMAND that the State collect SEMI monies from the Federal government for all children – not just public school children. When I was Board counsel the distinct was on the road to prevailing in prior lawsuit against the State -but- this case was discontinued by the district. This has the potential of bringing hundreds of thousands of dollars in to the general budget from the FEDERAL government.

7. DEMAND additional State funding thru legal action. Again, not meaningless Resolutions and speeches by unions, professionals, and others.

8. STOP blaming the Board President and Board members. No disrespect, but with a State Monitor here, even if they wanted to they have NO real ability to make change. However, while I do not agree with everything the current Board President and his members “do “- now is NOT the time to attack them.

9. WORK WITH the State Monitor. Like it or not – he (Azzara) is here to stay and just had his contract renewed by the NJDOE. I can personally state that I have found him to be efficient and level headed when allowed to work in a collaborative fashion. That doesn’t mean he is always right – BUT – attacking him (as opposed to the NJDOE) and attempting to connive him is not the way to go.

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  1. I respect Mr Inzelbuch but as long as the Governor and Legislature will not move to change the funding formula;nothing will happen.

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