BREAKING: Thousands of Children Could Lose Special Services, Educators Could Lose Jobs due to Newly-interpreted State Law

breaking news tls 2 submittedThousands of Lakewood children could lose their special-ed services for the coming year, and over 1,000 educators could be without a job unless immediate changes are implemented, TLS has learned.

A newly-interpreted state law which mandates t‎he Title 1 and ‘192’ special education services will force special-ed teachers to reconstruct their schedules and not allow for children to be pulled from classes, leaving the children without services, school officials and Askonim confirm to TLS.

“‎To date, Tender Touch has not yet received a contract from the Lakewood Board of Education to provide services for the current (2014/2015) school year,” Tender Touch, one of the three 3rd-party service providers said today. “Therefore, we cannot begin servicing the eligible students.”

All schools and all vendors will be affected.

The Igud Hamosdos last night met to discuss the crisis, which would have a devastating affect on approximately 2,000 Lakewood children‎, and about 1,500 educators.

Askonim and school officials are expected to meet with attorneys and BOE officials on Wednesday.

The ‎blow is reportedly the work of BOE officials who are looking to bridge the massive financial gap in the district.


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  1. “The ‎blow is reportedly the work of BOE officials who are looking to bridge the massive financial gap in the district.”
    should be replaced with
    ” The ‎blow is reportedly the work of BOE officials who are looking to do whatever they can to hurt the frum community”

  2. What is up with this “BOE”???! To come out with this one day before school starts?! Are they looking to destroy our children entirely? This town is becoming a more sickening place to live in by the day.

  3. This is a huge problem. I knew s/thing was up. Everyone I know who gets BOE funding told me they were getting a runaround. I hope the askanim can do s/thing. Soon.

  4. Why do we talk in circles?? As a parent with a child with special needs, I know it is Ms. Helen Tobia who has all the power in the district and misuses it! Here is another example!

  5. It’s the work of the superintendent and her “assistant” superintendent who are trying to save their own jobs after the state auditor exposed the financial mess they have brought to this town and to the district’s most vulnerable population…special education.

  6. This is part of a trend of mismanagement and unchallenged power by the director of PPS- she tried to close Linden preschool, she is trying to close down supplemental services- what next? We need accountability in this town!

  7. Michael inzelbuch gets the last laugh after all. this is what happends when people mess with a system thats been working because they are “much smarter” than everyone else

  8. “…which would have a devastating affect on approximately 2,000 Lakewood children‎, and about 1,500 educators.”

    1500 for 2000? You think it sounds a little excessive? Just asking…

  9. I agree its she… in the boe who does whatever she feels like without really caring for the needs of the all children that make up our diverse community. Its astounding to me that she still has a job there after all these years….

  10. It’s all gonna work out! Hashem degreed this and it will smooth it self out. We don’t know why, so this test is to stay calm and focused on discussions without emotion. Hashem is not going to leave us in such a time of need. Show Hashem, daven, unify, calmly communicate.

  11. As someone who has been given the run around by Ms Tobia I can attest she does not return phone calls , does not care about our children and like to blames others for all her mistakes.. It’s appalling that the lakewood board of education has an administrator like her!!!

  12. Helen Tobia is considered the director of special services and education and yet she doesn’t know anything about special services and has no experience or background in special Ed. She is mishandling the department and funds and is working against out children! It’s time all the parents of this town work together and come up with a plan to have her uprooted from this position and replaced with an experienced special educator.

  13. I’m trying to understand. no students will be permitted to be taken out of class in order to receive special services. I assume this applies to public school students as well. if so, when are these kids supposed to have their IEPs implemented? is Lakewood banning IEPs altogether or is the BOE they leaving itself open to law suits? or are they planning after school resource rooms? how is this supposed to help the budget?

  14. I don’t believe Michael Inzelbuch is laughing. Those who know him know that he might come across strong minded and is not always in agreement with the mainstream opinion but he is a guy with a heart and would not laugh in a time like this. It is however a shame that lakewood didn’t have the brains to hold on to him by all means. His practice goes on without the boe but it seems like the boe can’t go on without him.

  15. I’m not sure why special ed teachers are paid so much more then teachers with many years experience.
    The pay scale for the special ed field is out of control and should be cut in half. Trust me we won’t loose many teachers and cut the deficit

  16. according to the article posted above, this is not the fault of any “board member etc” but rather “A newly-interpreted state law which mandates t‎he Title 1 and ’192′ special education services”

    Everyone can play games with numbers, try to cut buses, cut taxes etc, but there is no games with numbers, money has to be paid to cover everything that you want.
    If you want busses, special ed, we all have to get together and allow a tax increase (as much as I would hate to have to pay more taxes)
    Yes, Lakewood is diverse, we have many kids, which includes children with special needs, but we have to understand and deal with it, instead of fighting it.

  17. I think it is about time that we say what is really going on. Helen Tobia controls the district by threatening everyone and making them do what she wants her way.

  18. Have you ever tried reaching Helen when you had an issue. Has anyone ever gotten a return phone call? I wonder if it’s me or how she does her job in general. We that need helps so badly and are entitled to the help get ignored. We hear from the street that our child’s placement is in jeopardy yet have yet to have someone from the boe notify us. Helen is a coward. She messes things up for everyone and then dumps the blame and responsibility on everyone else. She is an embarrassment to Lakewood

  19. I am wondering what the role of the superintendent is in Lakewood. It seems that the director of special education currently runs the district. What is the superintendents role in all this?

  20. Cutting funding is one thing; being mean is another. A friend of mine who has a v/ special needs daughter, got a letter this past shabbos that BOE is cutting his funding !! The Nerve !! If its true that Helen is the problem, why cant she be fired by the elected officials ?! Sick. Really Sick.

  21. As a former employee I can tell you the director of pps is really the assistant superintendent without the credentials just the power……… The abuse of power!! She’s behind it all!!!

  22. The superintendent who seems to be expremely ineffective has to be the one to remove Helen from her position. Let’s see if she can take a stand and do the moral and right thing for the town. Does she care???? Does she deserve her position when she does nothing to stop the corruption she is very well aware of. Shame on her.

  23. State monitor we were relying on you to come in and fix things. It seems that you have only fed more power into the hands of those that abuse and misuse it.

  24. As a parent of a special needs child in children center which was now closed by the district I can tell you that the director of pops who has no business holding that job is responsible for all the mess that has recently plagued our district. She is heartless and hasn’t a clue what she is doing.we must all ban together and figure out a way to get rid of her.

  25. My wifes about to loose her job and my son is loosing his funding:(
    You can’t just fire Helen, there is a process to everything.
    3 Years later we see that Michael Inzelbuch was right, without him the place would fall apart.

  26. Five year contract for Laura winters=five year “contract” of miss tobia. The two are attached at the hip. Superintendent is puppet to miss tobia and her evil schemes.

  27. I can just see miss tobia reading these posts saying ” this is the work of so and so…lets get em!” with miss tobia it’s always someone else’s fault. Even the board members can’t get rid of her. She has a “higher level” power that keeps her in position and power.

  28. 1. 1500-2000: Many need multiple types of services, such as social worker, speech, and remedial.

    2. Salaries: Education and training for professional specialized services explain the differential.

    2. As a mom of several children who needed one or all of these services at one time or another during their grade school years, I can attest to their need and value. Each of them has been able to overcome his/her social and learning challenges and maximize his/her potential due to the extra help provided. They have moved on to become excellent high-school students, teachers, parents, employees, etc.I am grateful to all those responsible, including government(s) for making it available, agencies for providing excellent professional staff, and the schools for their close work with the individual therapists and remedial teachers. Of course, I am especially grateful and extend deepest appreciation to all the individual therapists and teachers who invested their time and efforts in my children with such wonderful results. Your work is vital, and a solution will have to be found so you can continue to do your wonderful magic.

  29. Overtaxed can’t agree with you more. She is always looking at who to get and who to frame. And the guy who said firing someone is a process – it’s not such a long process if someone is doing illegal things that are proven.

  30. Fellow parents,

    If you have also been told a million contradicting statements and hopefully have good records of it. Let’s get together and fight for our rights. If parents respond with interest I will create an online forumn for us to unite.

  31. public schools are a shame too. Not only non-public. We get the same treatment and feel the same way about the superintendent and her intimidating assistant. We are treated as if we are nothing and our kids are not doing well at all. Especially those with IEP’s.

  32. As a for former Lakewood BOE employee, I can attest to the fact that a big part of the problem is Helen Tobia and the amount of power she has usurped. However, you have a board of publicly elected officials. For some reason, at least some of them don’t want to jeopardize their relationship with Laura Winters. This is absurd. They are her boses!!! The ones losing out are your children- both public and non-public! Pressure your elected officials to do something to change this status quo or vote them out!!!!

  33. Helen is tenured to 2017. There’s absolutely no way to fire her unless you can prove misconduct. I too was promised return phone-calls from her on important special-ed matters and those calls of course never came. She is definitely not looking out for the people of this town. She has an agenda…

  34. Everyone need better construction in education and I find this crazy. We talking about children education. This is the most dangerous game in gambling children education. I think everyone in BOE is making mistake. I feel children who cannot understand this level of promablic system. But if they did they would shut down entire town without a delay. I feel governments and township should stop gambling children education and get on your feet and do the right thing.

  35. response to # 20. Special ed teachers are required to have college degrees and are deserving of higher pay, but besides for that the teachers that are hired through third party providers are not paid alot at all. If anything they are underpaid…
    To # 21 I don’t know if you own a house in lkwd, but I do and my taxes have gone up significantly these past to years.
    No more tax increases, if theres a problem with abuse in spending let the askonim put and Boe put the heads to it and come up with a decent solution.

  36. Come on Helen, start blaming the person you spoke with in the state, Mr Azzara, director of this dept, your attorney (whom you only consult with when you are positive you will get the answers you want to hear)

  37. My child was supposed to have nursing this year as he has had in the past. We didn’t find out that this wasn’t going to be the case this year until he came to school and the nurse wasn’t there. How do you hurt us like this and without warning.

  38. Ms. Tobia is best friends with the superintendent and the superintendent is afraid of her and will never question her. Ppl need to start reporting problems to the state and county supervisors and File complaint investigations and document all issues. When things are documented as being done illegally this will help uproot the administrator responsible for all this. We need To start educating parents on their rights for both private school and public school parents!

  39. How about Lakewood put their money where their mouth is, band together, hire an attorney and sue in a class action. It’s the American way.

  40. please stop these postings about one person no where in this article does it mention what and why there is this issue so please don’t point fingers and make a chilul hashem when you will still need her services tomorrow

  41. It’s obvious that you bh don’t need anything for your children because If your are waiting for Helens services you are in a very bad situation and you will not be talking like this!

  42. Again, until we get the state formula changed we will always have a financial crisis. first bussing, now special ed. Whats next?

    THE FORMULA needs to be changed and until it is, we will have sky high taxes with minimal services.

  43. I have a child who is a weak student and is pulled out for many subjects – no more??? I have tried to work with her at home, but this help she gets is crucial.

  44. to Jyason #20, what are you talking about? I’m a special ed teacher? Who gives you your #’s. I wish you were correct but unfortunately for me, you are from from correct.

  45. ATT: State Monitor, Please announce an anonymous venue (email address ect.) for us to report to you the backroom dealings and illegal pandering we see daily- this will significantly boost the budget to allow needed services for everyone!!
    To commenter 33, you are correct but not only is Helen connected at the hip with Laura she is also waaay too close with (moderated).
    If s/o could be brave enough to expose that hand washing it will cut the lkwd budget in half.
    Because of the culture of retaliation created by Helen most of us good folks who really care about ALL the children of Lkwd are afraid instead of speaking our very alive consciouses.

  46. Parents of public and non public students need to come together because we are our childrens’ greatest advocates. To allow for courtesy busing but then cut title 1 and ch 192-3 services for mainstream students is a disgrace, not to mention the over 1,000 contracted special educators who will be losing their jobs or cutting their already limited hours to “after school tutoring.”

    At least condense the special services to include larger group sizes or self contained classes instead of 1:1! These children can thrive in a mainstream setting with special Ed intervention in school! Isn’t that what the goal of special education is?!

  47. to 49 don’t judge till chas veshalom you are in our shoes. it is obvious that you don’t have a child with needs that will not be met because of one selfish egoistic person.

  48. i b’h dont have anything to do with special education in any area, but from all these comments, i feel like everyone is being abused…instead of talking and talking about banding together , everyone has to just stand up right now and do something, otherwise nothing will change

  49. Helen, I hope they re-position you to a janitor. you don’t even deserve that. Really you should be fired.
    If there is not enough evidence to prove her misconduct, TLS has my email, and I have a large can of worms on her.

  50. There needs to be communication accountability for all of these changes…my child was suppose to start tutoring services next week. When will I find out if he is in fact receiving the tutoring? Why is the Lakewood Scoop where I need to go to find out about this? I signed my paperwork, so I know there is access to printers and paper…the ones responsible for the lack of funding also have a responsibility for prompt communication when there are changes implemented.

  51. HELEN doesn’t communicate because she is a coward!! this is her way. turn everything upside down and DONT TELL ANYONE ANYTHING! let them find out after the last minute from someone else.

  52. Plain daas: by all means expose the can of worms here in this venue or better yet to NJ department of education and senator booker’s attention. People keep collecting emails and files but miss tobia stays in power and wrecks people’s lives with the superintendents blessings. They both need to go. Package deal.

  53. It seems that everyone here dislikes Helen. There is a simple solution, talk to the right people and you find the qualified person who can do the job and cares to help the children.
    Stop the name calling and do your homework.There are plenty of qualified people who can run the programs.
    P.S. I think you are all wrong about the Superintendent. She is in a difficult position. Give her more credit.

  54. All this had nothing to do with the BOE members they are fuming against the state monitor who came up with this the last minute and are fighting him together with all the schools

  55. I understand the frustration and am dealing it with cuts for my own children. However, please do yourselves the favor of reading the actual law. By definition, it is supposed to supplement instruction – not be provided in place of instruction. It is not a new law or new interpretation, it is a new implementation of the law. We can and should work to have it defined in a way that is both legal and rational for our needs. Blaming the people who are interpreting it is really not helpful to the conversation.

  56. Many knowledgeble peoplecand attorneys are very aware of the not supplant regulations . However they do not agree with the new incorrect interpretation that is the cause of this problem.

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