FIRST REPORT: Projected $9.5 Million Deficit for Lakewood School District for 2015-16 School Year

boe aug 2015The Lakewood school district will be an estimated $9.5 million in the red this school year, it was announced this evening.

The shocking announcement was made during the Board of Education meeting.

The Administration didn’t offer details as to the specifics of the deficit, and said they would offer more details at the next meeting.

“This is two years after the State came to take over,” noted an official, who wished to remain anonymous.

The State came with a team to Lakewood during the 2013-2014 school year to try and bring stability to the district, but this projected deficit is the worst yet.

“It’s unprecedented,” the official said. “This is total mismanagement on the State’s part. They have a finance monitor and a team that created this budget, and ran the district.”

Just last month, we reported that the District announced the end of courtesy busing due to the $6,000,000 deficit. In just one month, that projected number jumped to over $9,000,000.

“And it’s just getting worse.” the official stated.

[TLS]

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34 COMMENTS

  1. It’s amazing what the three state monitor put into the budget this year. Supposedly opening another location at the Holy Family Church on County line was going to save money. Absolutely insane. This was in addition to the over $400,000 their salaries costs us every year.

  2. Can someone explain these facts:
    1. The Education is more than 50% of our property taxes.
    2. The taxes rising every year.
    3. There are in Lakewood today almost double tax payers than 10 years ago.
    4. Most of the new taxpayers paying like 2 or 3 old taxpayers since the houses are bigger.
    5. All of the new taxpayers as well as many old ones, minus all of the old residents leaving and selling their old houses to new taxpayers, NOT USING THE PUBLIC EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM.

    6. It was expected that we will have Milions in reserve, and we are in the BIGGEST DEFICIT EVER????!!!

    WHERE THE MONEY GOES???

    WHERE????

  3. Mazel Tov !!!

    Let’s see …who can we blame now ?

    We ALREADY blamed :

    The orthodox

    The seniors

    The schi school

    Helen Tobia

    The board attorney

    The Jews

    Running out of excuses —

    The REAL culprit —

    The State and the funding formula

    Wake up !!!!!

  4. A State monitor is allowed to break contracts, hire people and renegotiate salaries, we should realize that there are over 100 people working for the Lakewood school district that earn over $100,000. All the state monitors are doing is making sure the courtesy busing gets eliminated. It was proven and publicly announced by the monitor that the problem isn’t a spending problem. I think he regrets ever saying that.

  5. Just to add in regards to taxes

    I bought my small 3 br home 1.5 years ago taxes were $7416, less than a year later it went up to 8516 a 14.83% increase although official value stayed the same, boy am I in trouble after this deficit and reassessment

  6. One question should be on everyone’s mind. How is it that private schools where the parents pay tuition, it only cost about $4,000 per year, where their counterparts in public schools cost over $20,000 tuition per year per student. In addition the private school students are in school for considerably longer hours than the public school students. Something doesn’t add up

  7. The deficit is created by spending money that you don’t have. Like your checkbook, if you don’t have the money to make a purchase, you cannot have it. They have to see what is a priority and what is a luxury. If you remember, the State Monitor voted down the real budget that was proposed, or the deficit would be even larger.

  8. The current years budget calls for a ten percent increase in Education costs as that was the anticipated enrollment increase. In reality the increase was less than FIVE PERCENT. We were all taxed for a 10% percent increase. Where are all those millions of dollars going now that the enrollment went down? We are being taken for a ride by the State Monitor.

  9. # 4 is 100% accurate.
    The state formula is just unfair, antiquated which will cost the taxpayers more money in taxes.
    Compare state funds being sent to Camden, Jersey City, Newark, Passaic, and now Atlantic City.
    All children deserve a quality education regardless if you attend a public or private school, plain and simple.

  10. I don’t think the oilem understands
    That the budget is 151,000,000.00
    That’s 151 MILLION DOLLARS
    That’s s heck of a lotta money considering Lakewood is 80% Jewish and the public schools are getting emptier by the year and contrary to popular belief , more and more taxes are being paid.
    WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON
    HERE?

  11. The public schools run very differently that the private
    First and foremost the teachers are Union
    That means they get medical benefits pensions overtime etc.
    Also while boys have 1-2 teachers
    The public schools have many , many each one getting these benefits
    In addition 4,000.00 is way too little,
    It doesn’t cover, schools fundraiser, dinners etc to subsidize the shortfall, done remain always in shortfall forever, plus Lakewood is even more complex that we have loads of immigrants ( I love them ) but many barely speak English and are considered students with special needs because of it .
    Having said that
    There’s still something not kosher here

  12. I cannot afford the taxes, seriously my taxes went up like $300 a month when i was already choking on my monthly budget. We just get increases and increase like quietly on a little piece of paper and no one does anything – it’s just accepted!!!! Most homeowners are very hard working people and can’t work anymore than they are already, I am thinking I will have to sell my house, this is insane. Will there ever be a cap? Also, does anyone know if other district have their taxes raised and raised because of the state formula or they just like Lakewood?

    Why can’t we all get together and do something???? Maybe we can all go to Trenton and protest, register the kids in public school etc.. I am not a macher, but this is a call to anyone that can organize something and everyone will join!!!!

  13. Maybe, just maybe if we did not have to pay for illegal immigrants to attend school, things would be better! NO, I am not saying deport them, but why is it that we provide services for their children and yet they pay no taxes at all!? If a student attends public school and their parents don’t pay taxes, then CHARGE them tuition. The cost needs to be covered and we should not have to foot the bill. Obama says if you don’t have health care then you pay a fine. Great. Do the same by schools! If you don’t pay taxes then you pay into the system. Obviously there are more issues in play here, but this would help…

  14. How about we STOP PAYING TAXES till this gets cleared up (taking a page from Donald Trump). They can’t penalize the whole town for withholding taxes. Let them get their act together and make all their deals and mistakes public. Let’s restore the trust.

  15. Let’s face it, the time has come that we should only be worried about the kids. Those who live the state mandated distance. 2 miles and 2 1/2 miles not the .6 need the buses the most. Isaac thank you for your questions last night and bringing them to the people right here on TLC

  16. Lets put this in perspective. The School District’s budget, is enough to theoretically give A $5,000 voucher for each child, public and private, yet somehow, there is not enough money for busing?

    There is something wrong here.

  17. The solution to Lakewood’s BOE problems:

    1. Raise property taxes yet again. Reassess, reassess again, and then raise again.

    2. Forget new HVAC systems, tear all public school buildings down and replace them with newer, more energy efficient buildings.

    3. Provide health insurance, not only to all BOE employees but to their grandchildren as well. If there are no grandchildren then insurance shall be provided to the nearest relatives. It is common knowledge that the BOE must do the exact opposite of what logic dictates when it relates to saving money. As such, although practically all private industry jobs-ACROSS THE BOARD- are cutting back on benefits as well as the extent of their health insurance coverage which has skyrocketed over the past decade- the BOE has no thoughts of making cuts in such areas.

    4. Of course- cut out “courtesy bussing”, however, that will only close a portion of the deficit. To narrow it down further, eliminate state mandated busing as well.

    Hope you enjoy my sarcasm. For my part; I think the solution is to move on from this town. Too much going on for WAY too long.

  18. I don’t get it. In Rockland County they got a state monitor and they are fighting that he not get veto power. Agudas Yisroel, Hikind etc are involved. We got a state monitor that just keeps making things worse. Why don’t we stand up and fight just like they are?

  19. I wonder if the townspeople know what an amazing public school Lakewood has. It has all high tech equipment for students Eucharistic s ipads and Apple computers for all to use in class. The have a high end culinary kitchen for learning as well as a fancy indoor garden. Time to reevaluate everything, NOT JUST BUSING.

  20. B.a. Mentch,

    To be completely fair its not really 20k per student. Many costs are built in contractually obligated costs. For example pensions. They are old obligations and don’t reflect the current per student cost even though its one budget.

    Costs are still way too high. But there is no easy answer. There is very little to cut as everything is either mandated by law or contractually mandated. The state of NJ has one of the worse sovereign ratings in the nation. There is no way that they are in the mood of expanding their debt and obligations. So dream on about changing the formula.

  21. to everyone complaining, with 7+ kids getting free busing @ $900 per year comes to $6300 so out of your 10K in taxes you still have to pay police, fire, garbage, schooling,

  22. To Jay: Most jewish families don’t have 7plus kids in school system all at once. Yes, they may have 7 or more kids but not in the system at same time. And no, not everyone in town has more than 7 kids, plenty have less than that.

  23. The real question is what items exceeded the amounts budgeted for it. Bussing is done with contracts and doesn’t change during the year. There have been a number of routes that were picked up more recently but they were also budgeted for perhaps they were slightly more expensive but not $9 million or even $6 miilion. What we need to to figure out what unanticipated expense of $9 million the BOE incurred.

Comments are closed.