Is the Lakewood School District on the verge of collapse?

As the $30 million battle continues in court, the Lakewood School District this morning sent out a notice indicating it could soon cease operations.

The letter to parents and staff reads:

”Good Morning,

Due to the unknown fiscal situation of the Lakewood School District, and as a precautionary measure, please make alternate plans for Monday, July 1, 2019.

The District will notify all parents and staff by 5:30 a.m., Monday, July 1, 2019, or sooner, the status of District programs and operations.”

The District is fighting for the $30 million it was promised – but nixed from the budget.

The massive loss of funds would affect both public and non-public school students.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Where is all the tax money going? Lakewood residents have high taxes, we should have a surplus with tax for the schools, where is all the money going?????

  2. Let it shut down and don’t take any loans that can’t be repaid that’s the only way pressure will mount and they’ll have to deal with all the public schools get kids and we could take away the whole school tax . It will be worth the little bit extra money that we will have to pay towards our schooling

  3. To Yael

    The district pays many millions in transportation for both public and 25000 mon public students . In addition the district pays well over 100,000 for every ssd special education child sent to a special ed school . The number of special ed students going to an outside school is growing every year . The cost is very large and could he close to 25 or 30 million dollars . So besides the regular cost of educating 6000 public school students they need to raise another 50 million dollars for special ed and transportation , .

  4. Not providing a public school education for resident students would violate the constitution and state law. Not providing mandated transportation would also violate state law. The latter is the lesser violation and local parents and the municipality could mitigate the situation by providing some alternatives. Until the State and the Courts settle this, the district should suspend mandated transportation not close schools. Either issue will bring intense pressure on the State.

    • Buck, which part of the constitution requires cities or townships to provide public schooling? It doesn’t exist in my copy, or Googles for that matter. The federal government does have regulations for private schools (common core etc.), but only to the extent that if Federal guidelines are not met, then the federal government can withhold funding.

      The state law which mandates public schools, also mandates busing for private schools. Despite what Teachers unions and their allies like to moan about, a child in private school is no less of a human than those in public schools. In fact, the private school children in Lakewood, save the State hundreds of millions of dollars.

      Patterson NJ, that has a smaller student population than Lakewood, receives $430 million in state funding annually. Toms River that has 1/3 of the student population of Lakewood, receives double the funding of Lakewood..

      As far as Lakewood residents coughing up more money for taxes, no thank you, my property taxes have gone up 30% in the last 3 years. every year, they have found an excuse to raise taxes above the state mandated maximum. The fact is that the state formula short changes Lakewood severely, and the local taxpayers have been strained and choked as a result.

      Look at the state school funding list, Lakewood, the 5th largest city in the State (and with a young population, ranks even higher for school aged children) doesn’t even crack the top 40 in state funding.

      The state does not want to address this, because the teachers union vote, is more powerful than the Lakewood vote, and the teachers Union believes all taxpayer money should go to them, and them alone.

      As a Lakewood taxpayer, who has been chocked by the inequitable taxes, enough is enough. If the state wants to keep neglecting Lakewood, shut down the public schools, and let the state deal with the mess they created.

      Public Schools are the purview of the State, as it is any authority that is not outlined in the constitution, falls under each States Authority. the NJ Constitution does require that each child be provided with a fair an “thorough and efficient education”, but that law pertains the responsibility of the state.

      • Read the case law and original Abbott Decision. Yes. The State Constitution requires the State to provide a free system of public education and therefore the funding. However, under State law that is recognized by the NJ Supreme Court, the State delegates the responsibility of operating schools to local boards of education (local control). The adequacy of the amount of funding provided by the state is currently in dispute in court. Yes, just on the factual record established to date, I believe Lakewood deserves the $30 million, maybe more. But until the decision is officially made by the courts, the board of education must provide a public education even if it believes an inadequate one. Public school students should not be denied an education in favor of busing.

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