BOE Official: School Book Orders Jumped 50% after Announcement of Emergency Meeting

class cheder englishIn reference to the text book crisis, a Board official tells TLS that following the announcement of the emergency meeting by the board president, the numbers shot up.

During the emergency meeting it was announced that he board was assured in beginning of August by the state monitor that text books were being ordered, and that the monitor confirmed that he gave green light and approved the purchases.

However, he explained that since consumable workbooks were something that the state has not approved yet because of a misunderstanding with the administration, other books were not ordered either. Board members expressed outrage at the comments.

As of last Friday, before the meeting, only approximately 30% of books were ordered, the official said. Since the announcement of the emergency meeting, that number went up to 80%, the official told TLS.

Also during the meeting, Board member Mr. Silver asked if the non-public schools were communicated with regarding about lack of books and other services, to which Mrs. Winters said no.

The emergency meeting, called by Board president Isaac Zlatkin, focused on three serious issues facing the non-public schools, including the delay of special educational services, delay in nursing services, and the lack of text books.

“This is not about placing blame, but finding answers,” said Zlatkin about the emergency meeting, which drew nearly 1,000 people.

With regards to the special services, some of which are beginning today (as earlier reported on TLS), board attorney Marc Zitomer said that everything could have been ready mid-July had he been provided the proper information.

When pressed for answer, the superintendent Mrs. Winters said the delay was due to an understaffing issue. Asked if the schools were advised that there wouldn’t be services, again Mrs. Winters replied in the negative.


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  1. There are many if us who have experience in running successful businesses!!! What happens when we are understaffed?? we the bosses get up and do the work to ensure that our business continues to run efficiently and not cause a loss of profit! To have an excuse that the office is understaffed is plain stupidity and an excuse for not caring about all children in our diverse community, and why? Why? Wouldn’t they let the people know beforehand that they are understaffed something is very suspicious!!!!!

  2. I hope the comments of Mr. Azzara reported in the Lakewood shopper are taken out of context. To state “the rabbis” in a derogatory response and to verbally threaten Mr. silver for asking basic questions every tax payer would ask is unacceptable. Mr Azzara quoted one line sharp responses to the B.O.E. members statements or questions are not professional and not one that is expected from a person representing the State of New Jersey.

    Lets Hope. If It is true that Mr Azzara needs to change his tone and should be investigated himself as he is not seeking to benefit all the children of Lakewood and especially the overwhelming majority that send their children to non-public schools.

  3. The time has come for Helen to Resign!! Enough is enough…. Rumor has it the the state monitor is being investigated for his biased remarks at the emergency meeting…

  4. All of the board of Ed staff involved should resign in disgrace. It is an embarrassment for us – the people of Lakewood to be victims of our own employees. It is also shameful that they are taking such large paychecks and shifting the blame to everyone else. Laura winter takes 180K and Helen Tobia walks with 108K. Shameful! As a sidenote did the board ever approve that Helen Topia should become the assistant superintendent?? Or did Laura decide that on her own?

  5. Are there any updates on if and when Title 1 services will be restored? I work in two schools for a vendor and we haven’t been told any updates since last Wednesday’s meeting. Are services cut indefinitely or are the vendors just reviewing the contracts before signing? I want to know if I’m definitively unemployed and should be looking elsewhere, or if we will have teacher contracts to sign soon.

  6. Mr. Azara IS an unbiased official. He was appointed here by the state. He has no political affiliation nor any kind of affiliation with Lakewood. How much more unbiased can you get?

  7. Mr. Azzara comments and tone in his meeting reflects that of being biased to the non public schools students, their families and their leaders.

    Our children are already a week into school and do not have the services they rely on and have had for so many years. When will this be resolved.

  8. All teachers who are waiting for answers about when they will start work should get on unemployment fast!!! Unemployment only begins from day of application not last day of work….so get moving on it.

  9. Don’t forget it is Helen and not Mr. Azzara who went looking for all the new interpretations of the law. He can only be faulted for believing her and not seeing what is going on. Helen wants everyone to blame Mike!! She has the perfect scapegoat in place. Don’t let her win. We must stay focused.

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