POWERPOINT PRESENTATION: What Led to the Massive School District Deficit; Busing for Nearly 10,000 Students Expected to End Next Month

school bus lkwd tls[POWERPOINT PRESENTATION BELOW] In a newly-released powerpoint presentation, the district shows how the last-minute busing deals were sealed with major increases, leading the district even further into the red.

As first reported by TLS last week, the district’s expected deficit for the 2015-2016 school year will be around $9,500,000 – about $3,500,000 above last month’s anticipated deficit.

In the presentation, the district shows huge increases for busing routes that were much lower the previous year.

The administration wrote, “The Lakewood School District is seeking voter approval to raise between 6 and 6.5 million dollars in additional taxes for the 2015 – 2016 budget, to be used exclusively for non – mandated transportation services. (Approval of these taxes will result in a permanent increase in the district’s tax levy.)”

The administration is asking for the special referendum vote on January 26, in hopes of raising the money.

The Board already voted against the referendum, but it was overridden by the state monitor.

The busing cuts, as earlier reported, will affect both public and non-public school students.

Click on the powerpoint presentation for the numbers.



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  1. Each school should buy their own busses and there should be one central garage for each school to get maintenance on them . It’s a fortune but less than our tax increase which affects everyone and goes up every year Bc of this issue . No other township on the country has such an issue like we do

  2. STOP!!!

    How pitiful .

    Did you see the PowerPoint ?

    The point was to blame the non -publics again because …

    Can’t quite figure out why but …that’s never stopped the State and hatemongers before .

    Nevertheless –if the bussing is hazardous -as opposed to courtesy-the busing must be provided or the Township will need to make the roads safe to ALL students -public and non public .

    And who determines what is hazardous ???

    The board

    The state

    The state monitor

    The superintendent

    The district transportation department


    The Police Department

    So –don’t fall for it .

    Vote –No!!!

    Ps -please tell the Board and attorney to file a lawsuit proactively -not after the fact and in crisis mode .

  3. Good ahead people, tell the state that Lakewood has money, that the annual deficits are because the voters only care about non remote transportation and that they do not care about education. You can kiss goodbye any chance of the formula ever being fixed.

  4. I say we call his bluff.

    If it was a one time thing and promised to solve all problems it would be a great deal.
    The problem is that
    A) It’s a recurring increase to our taxes
    B) Next year they’re going to do this again, and again, and again….

  5. The monitor is trying to extort us for more money. There are plenty of things that he can cut to make money for bussing. He knows the only thing we’ll rally behind is bussing so he threatens to cut that hoping we’ll all throw money at the Board of Ed hoping to save bussing.

    This doesn’t stop him from doing the same thing in a few months, and again next year, and the year after.

  6. I will vote no and I will vote no to our State Senator and the others that keep getting reelected. Why have they not worked changed the formula. Lakewood tax money is going to fund other districts while we have deficits.

    Nothing will change, frankly I think we should just pay our Township taxes and not pay the educational part. Since the State Monitor overrides the Board that means we have taxation without representation.

    The monitor has not come up with anything good except causing us to pay more in transportation costs.

  7. People we are being taken for a ride… This power point is garbage. Did you realize that a) they are focusing only on “courtesy bussing” as if that is the only increase in budget. Not a word about the salary increases etc. that the state monitor authorized. B) they only show us 5 routes that had a big increase in cost out of hundreds of routes. C) they make sure the routes they show are non-public. D) some of the routes they are showing us are not even “courtesy” rather the are mandatory, meaning we will still be paying the increase even after they cut the bussing!
    You see this is just political PR to get the town all riled up and get them to vote for higher taxes…. They are desperate for us to bail out the state monitor from the embarrassment of bankrupting the Lakewood BOE.

  8. One more interesting thing
    E) “walkers” they are portraying the 10,000 kids that stand to lose busing as walking to school instead… Does anyone really think that a 7 year old is going to walk the streets of this town for 2 miles…

  9. Sue the state & the monitor & in discovery demand all communication between monitor & higher ups in the state, then we will find out what really is going on

  10. Why are they including special needs transportation? Tgis seems to have incurred the highest increase. That bussing is mandated regardless of distance and will be mandated whatever the vote is. Vote n, and send the monitor home!

  11. The State Monitor is pushing this because he is the one who created this mess, and is trying to bail himself out, on top of the 20% or higher tax increases already incurred over the last 2 years.

    This will solve nothing, a referendum will again be required next year and every year.

    The fact is even based on the current state formula, Lakewood is being underfunded by 20%

    Here is a list of State support to other towns

    Barnaget 3,200 Public School Students State aId $20 Million (almost 40% higher per PUBLIC SCHOOL student than Lakewood

    Toms River under 17k Students State aid $68 Million

    Jackson approximately 9,000 Students state aid $49 million

    Lakewood App. 5200 public school students, state aid $24 million

    This does not take into account that the combined population of Lakewood students is about 28K. The state requires that the board provide many services to all students including special ed and mandatory busing. Those expenses currently account for over 30% of the BOE budget.

    This is a problem by the state, that can only be solved by the state. If all Lakewood children would enroll in public school, it would cost the state over $80 million.

    The State Moniters have one job, to provide cover for the State so the under-funding of Lakewood is not exposed.The raise in taxes have been astronomical, people are going to be forced out of their homes.

    This needs to stop now.


  12. I would like to know how much is spent per year just to subsidize illegal aliens in our school system!? Their parents contribute ZERO toward the cost of their children attending public school and WE are stuck picking up the tab. If you want to blame us for a rising deficit, then make sure it is wholly and solely due to our community situation and of our doing. It is time to start charging parents who are illegals (ie they don’t pay taxes) for their children to attend school. This town has a lot of illegals, and while we benefit from their presence in many ways, we can not afford to pay for their children’s education (which includes busing)…

  13. So we are expected to believe that the unanticipated costs of busing is $9.5 million? Also even if bids were higher than past years doesn’t make it an unanticipated expense. In August nearly all routes were taken and contracts signed. Those prices were known at that time and have not changed. A small percentage of routes were filled since at perhaps a higher cost than in the past. Can this amount be more than several hundred thousand dollars (if that much)?

  14. According to the powerpoint, much of the increase is attributed to the late bids that came because of the delay due to the negotiations that were necessary while they were hammering out a deal with the non-public schools. If that’s the case, can someone explain why a permanent tax levy increase is being proposed? Next year, presumably, they’ll be able to start the bidding process much earlier.

  15. If everyone would stop paying their cleaning ladies and workers they pick up on 2nd street in cash then maybe some tax money would come in . We can’t be giving them insurance and schooling and have them not documented with illegal drivers licenses and driving without insurance . Most of them are good people and would probably pay taxes if we allowed them to be official. Not saying give them voting rights and make them citizens if they are here illegally but why are we funding them with free schooling and medical ( it’s even worse Bc they go to emrgency rooms which cost much more ) and not get any upside

  16. Enough is enough. Vote NO!!
    We are getting fleeced over here.
    We get the crisis of the month, and then he threatens to cut courtesy busing.
    Where are our state senators and assemblyman?
    Why after all these years of them not taking care of this funding issue are we still reelecting them? They obviously have different priorities, and helping the average taxpayer struggling to make ends meet, isn’t one of them.
    We should boot them all out.
    Enough is enough!!

  17. Firstly, my kids bus route already stopped, so why should I also add a tax burden on myself? They’re dysfunctional- not underfunded.
    Secondly, there are more and more houses in Lakewood becoming occupied every year. The simple principle of economy of scale says the township should have more and more money and if anything our taxes should go down. No one talks about this.
    Instead of this silly PowerPoint, how about a report on the actual revenue and expenses to see how our tax dollars are spent.

  18. How crazy is this? We pay a FORTUNE in taxes! And what do we get? Garbage pickup! That’s it. Every year there are hundreds more houses paying these outrageous taxes. So, where is the money going? More Garbage pickup? I would venture to say that a large percentage of the students in our Public Schools come from homes where ZERO taxes are being paid. Something needs to change. So, we’re doing great. We can’t even get busing. Oh, right, and our hospital is a disaster too.

  19. who is supposed to vote? Do we all get to state our opinion on January 26?
    Clearly from all the comments here everyone wants to vote no,how do we do that?
    Please give us details of how we can do that!
    I guess we’ll have to work out our own transportation from now on! Was nice while it lasted!
    No point in discussing mismanagement of out tax dollars as everyone realize we have a problem with that!

  20. Increase the mass transit bus routes for the Lakewood L to pass most schools. Then all High School and perhaps the older Elementary school kids should get bus passes paid for with the bussing money. Would be more efficient. Would save tremendously. Would subsidize and increase available public bussing. Win-win all around.

  21. How were they off by 50% in their calculations in one month?! Do they need an accountant to help add the numbers it seems like a lot of the funds are slipping out into someone’s pocket! To go up from 6 million to 9.5 million is ridiculous.

  22. Parroting off all the other comments-everyone please vote NO!!!

    By voting yes all were doing is continuing the mess we are already in and NOTHING will change. We need to stop giving into them and really get to the bottom of the bigger and real issue.

  23. According to the PowerPoint, it will cost most of us an avg of $500 a year in taxes to fund the “bussing”. How much do they pay in Brooklyn for private bussing?
    we can probably get bussing for our children by paying that outright to private bussing contractors, and possibly create more businesses and jobs in our own community…
    It is completely ridiculous to think that we should pick up the tab for all the illegals that are getting all the township services for free without paying any taxes.

  24. So many of us complaining, none of us doing anything! Let the voice of the people be heard, lets go demonstrate. This is a ridiculous tax burden being placed on all no matter the income. Property taxes are unique in a way that all get affected no matter how much money you make. We all must stand together in this.

  25. Enough already the kids are going to suffer, but my taxes at to high already. As for #5 saying the blame is trying to be pushed off on non pub I believe truth be told the non pubs are not living up to the agreement, tiering was for same open time and one pick up time. We know there are the big ones who have more than one pick up (more like 3 and 4). Plus lets get back to being like other districts. 2 miles and 2 1/2 miles for busing not .6

  26. Just a thought he all he various professionals in this town i.e. Accountants lawyers etc.w donate some of their time and professional abilities and resources we’d probaj be able to beat the state at it’s game the way it is now the state is laughing all the way to the bank

  27. I don’t get the numbers here

    If it costs $600 to bus each child and we are talking about potentially 10,000 children losing busing, how did we get up to a shortfall of 9.5 million. Where is the rest of it coming from or going?

  28. if we vote NO as we all say & we get private busing. our taxes shouldnt just stay the same but SHOULD GO DOWN for removing all busing from us. what will the board do? will they lower it or just come up with another lying excuse of expenses instead.

    BOTTOM LINE: do YOU think lakewood taxes can/will ever be LOWERED?

    i highly doubt it

  29. why aren’t we hearing from our elected state senator who promoted bring in the state moniter at the time. Look at the quotes in the news articles from that time. He needs to take responsibility for this situation.

  30. This whole thing is a crock.
    Don’t fall for any of it.
    It’s a scare the tactic to get the oilem to agre to higher taxes otherwise the sky will fall .
    Don’t fall for it people .
    Let me use the other 151million
    dollars in the budget

  31. This is absolutely nuts. My taxes already went up $1100 this year before being reassessed. I already almost 50% of my mortgage payment (on a small 3 bedroom) goes to …. you guessed it TAXES.

  32. I vote NO
    Enough with these high increases in taxes for the mismanagement of education. If the parents want their kids bused they can pay for it or drive them.
    NO, NO, NO, NO!

  33. For all those who keep complaining about the illegals not paying taxes, they aren’t getting away scott- free! They are renting many homes in Lakewood and part of their rent is going for the homeowner’s property taxes. Yes, they may be squeezing more people into houses than appropriate but they are definitely not getting away scott free!

  34. Yes for one or two dismissal time per school !
    I have 3 bus routes stopping at my house everyday… how’s that for mismanagement !
    If I pick up my children do you think I’ll go to school 3 times????

  35. Candy kane,

    Firstly, every house built brings in revenue in terms of taxes. Thus the costs are revenue neutral. Secondly, they have cracked down on “cheaper” houses not enabling townhouses any more. Thus only costly houses with higher tax revenue is being built. Personally I don’t think its right to price out lower income individuals from obtaining affordable housing. But that’s what it is.
    The real shortfall is due to obligated costs and expenses. Pension, Healthcare costs, school maintenance and mandated contributions for special needs are what hurts the budget.

  36. Yes schools should just chip in and own their own buses. Currently under the bidding process the bus company has to make a profit too. If schools own it with a shared partnership with other schools it can be done at cost price.

  37. Rest assured this deficit has nothing to do with busing. Is it really possible that the bus costs $9.5 million more than previously thought. In fact we can safely assume that the one thing not attributing to the deficit is busing as nearly all bus routes were contracted in August and have not changed since then. I guess this is a cover up for something more sinister. But notice how the powerpoint just says that this years contracts were more expensive than in the past but doesn’t say when this was noticed.

  38. A few good points were mentioned:
    1) why does the whole town have to pay for courtesy busing ? Keep it at 2 miles, anyone living less then 2 miles has to get private busing just like Sunday busing is privately paid.
    2)State formula completely ignores non-public school kids, if they would enroll in public school it would cost the state quadruple.
    3)why is this a permanent tax increase, if the power point presentation explained that the increase is due to late bidding? Next year put out the bids early…
    4) Taxes are way too high as is. Taxes are almost 50% of the Mortgage payment, that’s insane.
    5) Get the officials involved, local, county or state, anyone that would get this resolved.

    I would agree to Vote NO. Is it fair to ask everyone to vote yes?

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