Letter to Community from the Lakewood BOE President

Dear Lakewood Residents:
​As Board President of Lakewood’s Public School District, I am deeply concerned about the major budget deficit looming over our schools. I am deeply concerned about the damage that looming budget cuts will have on the education of the public school students and I know that my concerns are shared by my fellow board members, administrators, parents, staff, and by all Lakewood residents, including those without children in the public schools.

At our March 15, 2017 Board of Education meeting, we were presented with a preliminary budget which would have made devastating cuts to the District’s educational programs, staff, supplies, capital projects and extracurricular activities. The budget eliminated (1) 22% of all teachers, which would mean firing 106 teachers and unmanageable class sizes; (2) all athletics; (3) before and after school programs; (4) elementary school guidance counselors; (5) basic skills teachers; (6) literacy coaches; (7) related services for non-public schools; (8) summer school programs; and (9) most facility repairs.

The Board of Education and I unanimously rejected this budget. The State Monitor, who has full veto power over our decisions has not overridden our vote. Simply put, we cannot and will not agree to balance the school budget on the backs of children. We also adopted a resolution at last night’s Board meeting which expressed the Board’s “steadfast disapproval of any school budget that cuts valuable staff, programs, supplies and services from the District”. By law we are required to approve a balanced budget and have another budget vote set for May 8th.

We faced similar budget deficits many times over the past years, due to the severe unfairness of the State’s Funding formula, which counts only 1 of every 6 Lakewood children in its formula, making us appear to be a wealthy district when we are anything but. We therefore lose tens of millions of dollars each year in State funding and simply cannot keep our district running when we are robbed by a discriminatory formula.

It’s really simple: Children should never be the victims of budget problems. I call on all of us together to speak up with one voice and to advocate for our most precious resource – our children! If you want your voice to be heard you can also sign the petition initiated by the Lakewood Vaad and Rabbi Yisroel Schenkolewski, the Igud Hamosdos of Lakewood and Agudath Israel of New Jersey which will be presented to the State and which asks that the State count all children in Lakewood, and which gives Lakewood its fair share of deserved funding.

Very truly yours,
​​​​​​Barry Iann
Barry Iann, Board President

cc:​Board of Education c/o Regina Robinson, Bus. Admin.
Laura Winters, Supt.
Rep. Chris Smith
Sen. Robert W. Singer
​​Assemblyman Sean T. Kean
​​Assemblyman David P. Rible
​​Mayor Raymond G. Coles
Lakewood Town Council c/o Kathryn Cirulli, Clerk
Commissioner Harrington
​​Glen Forney, Director, Budget Review and Fiscal Monitors
​​Judith DeStefano-Anen, Executive County Supt.
​​Charles Muller, Int. County Bus. Admin.
​​Michael Azzara, Monitor
​​David Shafter, Monitor
​​Marc H. Zitomer, Board Attorney

This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. Copying or reproducing our content is both against the law and against Halacha. To inquire about using our content, including videos or photos, email us at [email protected].

Stay up to date with our news alerts by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

**Click here to join over 20,000 receiving our Whatsapp Status updates!**

**Click here to join the official TLS WhatsApp Community!**

Got a news tip? Email us at [email protected], Text 415-857-2667, or WhatsApp 609-661-8668.


  1. it is in the interest of all lakewood residents that children. whether they attend public schools or private schools, be given the best possible education. illiterate children grow into illiterate adults and get into trouble, which hurts every single one of us. ALL of us should be insisting on adequate funding

Comments are closed.