PREPARING FOR REALITY: Igud Hamosdos in Letter to Mayor: All Children will Carpool to School as part of Drill

school bus lkwdFacing the reality that thousands may not have busing next year, the Igud Hamosdos has decided to conduct a drill to test the results.

In a letter sent to the Mayor’s office and to the state, and obtained by TLS, the Igud Hamosdos wrote the following:

“As you are well aware, the Lakewood Board of Education budget FY 2014-2015 did not include courtesy busing for grades 4-12. We the Non Public Schools of Lakewood have been attempting to come up with solutions for the more than 25 thousand local Lakewood students we represent.

Without courtesy bussing, it would leave at least 60% of those students without bus transportation whereby creating enormous safety concerns for our students who would need to walk to school on a daily basis. Carpool transportation would create gridlock as have been seen on days when there is no bus transportation. Unlike previous days when there was no bus transportation and many schools closed for the day, all schools will be open. Not seeing a viable solution to this crisis at this time, we have accepted that the reality is to work within the limitations that are before us.

Therefore, we are giving prior notice to the township that on June 10th and June 11th, we are instructing all schools under our care to send their students to school by carpool. This will serve as a drill for parents, students, schools, and the municipality to prepare for what would be a reality for the coming school year.

We understand the ramifications that this might have on the township and are therefore giving ample time for the town to mobilize their resources to prepare for the upcoming drill. We also realize the effects that this will have on traffic throughout the area of Lakewood.

We hope to hear from you soon and look forward to working together on this matter.” [TLS]

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118 COMMENTS

  1. Will the school district be paying for busing on the days the students won’t be riding? Seems like a colossal waste of public funds.

  2. How silly is this? I can not drive my kids that day or pick them up. I will be sending them on the bus until there is no bus. You can not make the parents do this.

  3. When do they plan on informing parents? Girls schools do not have school until Monday. How are we supposed to change our schedules?

  4. Why can’t our politicians on every level, that we put in to office, be told very strongly that we expect them to straighten out this fiasco or they will all go down in history as a bunch of scoundrels who don’t care. Why do we have to beat around the bush and politely do stupid unsafe things. We should be more forceful.

  5. why dont you attempted a drill and have all 25000 apply kids into the lkwd public school system for 2014-15, and see what happens

  6. Crazy isn’t so crazy. Register the kids into public school and watch and see what will happen. Let’s start the petition for registration right here on the scoop. Is everyone ready??

  7. I believe all schools are canceling busing for the morning and as they r giving prior notice the board of ed will not have to pay

  8. Addition to number 4’s comments.
    1. We currently have over 25,000 students eligible for public school.
    2. The town of Lakewood pays an average of $16,000 per student in public school.
    3. The total without purchasing new structures to accommodate the influx of students is well over $400,000,000.

    I believe all we are asking is that we are supplied with transportation, which is significantly cheaper than enrolling our kids in the public school system.

    Yet the Igud Hamosdos feels that as parents who are already struggling with both spouses working to pay for our way of life [by way of life I mean the frum lifestyle]. We should quit our jobs and figure a way to carpool all our kids at different times in this town.

  9. if the drill is really to be fair shouldn’t it only include 4th grade and up who live more then 2 miles from school.Considering that all others would have bussing next year a fair drill should only include those without bussing

  10. In my opinion, creating havoc is irresponsible & unsafe for all citizens. The township does not have the funds for courtesy busing. Our elected leadership has been irresponsible as well. in granting building permits for schools & housing on every piece of land., including the industrial park. Now, solve the problem as adults.

  11. Lakewood is in gridlock every day anyway, they will only inconvience themselves. What is wrong with walking? I grew up in Lakewood , and always walked to school.

  12. I do not have children but yet I still pay taxes which include school taxes. With that said I must ask … why do I pay for anykind of bussing if I have no children? Also when the comments are made about gridlock in Lakewood, I must ask …. realistically what would be different? Nobody can go 3-4 blocks in this town in under 20 minutes. Gridlock has been a part of this town for many years and as long as there are more multi-use and multi-family structures being built the problem will only get worse.

  13. wake up- this is a test run to show the state the craziness of expecting car pooling. personally no one should take someone from another family. only take your children. and yes there will be a lot of traffic as you will have to drop off your 6-8 graders boys on hour, then drop off your daughters for elementary and high school. Next pickup your younger aged sons for elementary school and yes this will also have a major impact on the economy of nj as no one will be working.

    the state of nj does not want to change the formula of how funds are allocated to school districts. currently the amount of funds are allocated per how many students are registered in the public school – not by how many additional parochial/private students they legally are required to service. Lakewood tax rateables are very high and therefore Lakewood is not considered a “poor district” to be an ABOTT district.
    the state of nj knows the situation for years. it needs to change te formula yet it refuses as so much taxes are collected from Lakewood properties and under the current formula – it can keep the dollars for other areas

  14. This is great. I had promised my son an off day one day in June. We didnt know when to do it. Now I do. Thanx, ichud & Lkwd Twsp Committee & BOE. You guys do a great job. Always looking out for the K’lal.

  15. Very simple question : So, now that the township is not paying for busing will I see a tremendous reduction in my taxes this year? Even if the township is somehow right that they can no longer afford to pay for busing, (which makes so little sense with the increased revenue), but they have definitely been paying for the service for thousands of kids for many years. So there better be a HUGE drop in my taxes if there is ANY legitimacy to their claims. Somehow, I don’t think that’s going to happen. But, why not ????

  16. As a school bus driver in Lakewood, all this fuss about busing is ridiculous. Have all the schools affected have one big fundraiser to raise the funds needed to pay for the busing to keep the children of the township safe.

  17. this mess did not just happen yesterday–this has been 20 years in the making–relaxed zoning letting small schools be opened all over the township–schools all starting at different times–the idle threat of enrolling your children in public schools–is this suppose to be a scare tactic–go ahead enroll your children but remember they are public schools–

  18. I have 4 kids I am enrolling into the PS system (they won’t actually go to public school, but if u want to make a “drill” – this way is sure to work!!)
    Anyone else on board??

  19. Stop complaining. They are doing this for YOUR benefit. Do you want to be driving every day next year?! No. So do it for 2 days and hopefully you won’t have to.
    I really don’t understand everyone’s issues.

  20. If traffic is at a standstill that might actually be an improvement in this town, cant blow a stop sign or red light if you cant move.

  21. This is seriously going to adversely affect everyone’s quality of life. I anticipate the driving and traffic will take up at least 1 hour for each trip…with 3 children on three different time schedules and two different schools, that means I will be in the car an extra 6 hours on those days. I live south of the lake and traffic on days where my kids miss the bus is completely out of hand. It’s a good thing I’m only a student…if I had a job, I’d certainly have to quit to transport my kids. How ridiculous!

  22. hahahahha this is comical , if we would have been carpooling all this time the BOA would not be broke !! I look forward to it. Everyone wants to say the sky is falling the sky is falling but guess what… It is no big deal. we will all go about our day as normal. See you on the streets June 10th and 11th

  23. Reposted from Yid on a prior story-

    CALM DOWN ~ CALM DOWN ~ CALM DOWN ~ CALM DOWN

    People – get real!

    Without getting involved in who’s right and who’s wrong, let’s face it: The Orthodox are NOT enrolling their kids in the public school system, and courtesy busing is on its last legs.

    No, children will not be forced to walk home in the dark. Bus drivers will not lose their jobs. Nothing at all will change….. except, that instead of the BOE paying for busing, the schools will hire the buses privately and pass those costs on to the parents. In a nutshell: Tuition will go up about $800 per year per child, or $80 per month (based on a 10-month school year).

    So everyone calm down. The sun will still shine every day, life will move on, and Lakewood will continue to be a wonderful town with the most insane drivers outside NYC.

  24. Okay now that you all Put out your frustrations let me explain.

    1. As someone wrote the issue is the formula, the state is ignoring lakewoodsc different make up of residents, they look at lakewood and say so much tax $ and so little student in public school why should we kick in, the DO know the realty but are ignoring it. if all major roads will be shut down including rt 9, and New Hampshire, cederbrige. Etc. the state will see this is what’s gonna be every day, the will have to chose if the wann deal with our neighbors in Howell and toms river on a daily basis not being able to pass thru getting to work, to hospitals etc. now this isn’t a threat it’s the realty if what will be next year.

    2. To those who who wanted to know why not only 4-8 grades the answer is simple now the cut these grades who says this isn’t only step 1.

    3. All the talk about public schools is Being seriously considered by askonim.

  25. Here’s a thought, all of you who send kids to private school, open your pockets ands PAY FOR IT!!!. Just like in every other town where a kid goes to private school.

  26. #31….why are u so chilled about it. everyone knows thats a possibility. i have 5 kids in 3 different schools. that ads up to $2,400 extra a year. why do u think we want that. people with larger families will have more of an expense. y do u think we have to always pay for all of our problems to solve them?

  27. To those who say we should pay for our own busing, we would if we would not be double taxed. Allow for our religious school tuition to be a tax credit and we would gladly pay for the busing.we pay taxes and are entitled to benefits such as courtesy busing. We are over our heads in bills while you claim we can further afford more expenses.

    Lets cut out the bilingual Spanish only speaking classes and spanish program bus routes

    Lets have ice come to town and See how many undocumented workers there are? Suddenly the public school population will further drastically fall.

    Just like we cant have it both ways neither can they.

  28. To unreal
    Guess what we do pay for it!!
    In addition we are paying 10k property taxes, and take back for education 0, at least the bussing which most others towns to pay for we should get.

  29. Why are we letting the State ignore our valid claim? Why don’t we have lawyers who are suing the State to correct this? This would be far smarter than causing animosity with the neighboring towns. WHERE ARE THE REPRESENTATIVES that we voted in to office? Shame on them.

  30. @ Unreal, in every other town where a child attends private school, the parents pay tuition, just like I do, and get FREE busing from the township if they qualify. Ask parents who send their kids to St. Veronica in Howell, St. Aloysius in Jackson, St. Rose of Lima in Freehold, St. Joseph in Toms River, etc. Please do some research before spewing hatred!!

  31. Agreed, there should be constant pressure to change formula and maybe if the streets were flooded and press gets involved, the local politians have some leverage

  32. Remember, we will never get out of this mess UNLESS THE FORMULA FOR STATE AID IS CHANGED. All the protests in the world will not change that. I don’t think threatening local township departments that we will create gridlock if we don’t get what we want is the way to go.

    I think the only way we will win is if we form a coalition with seniors and public school parents. A change in the formula will benefit all. Seniors will gain because more state aid means lower taxes. Public schools gain because more $ for them. We gain because more $ for us as well.

  33. In negotiations, there has to be a give and take. The Mosods can’t ignore the fact that consolidating dismissal times will help with transportation efficiency, which they are unwilling to do. The Township committee has to realize that we don’t have the proper infrastructure to continue to build they way they are allowing to. Finally lets not forget all the tax exempt housing thats causing our taxes to continue to rise year after year. This is a real problem here in Lakewood, yet people are simply ignoring the reality. When Lakewood transports students from a tax free home, the rest of us are picking up that tab. How is that fair??

  34. With the new busing program, what happens with kids from down east 7th where there are no sidewalks but within 2 miles? or down route 9 south, where they are within 2 miles from school but no sidewalks?

  35. @ # 40, I don’t know where your getting your information from BUT, those schools you listed get busing is because the PARENTS pay for it with the tuition, so they DON’T get a FREE ride as your suggesting, and further more this bullying tactic is uncalled for, it’s not just the private schools that are affected but the public schools as well, if you live within the 2.5 miles of the school ( that you child attends) for 4th. grade and up you walk, period end of story, this is nothing new and the current BOE didn’t cause the problems, the past several did, and enrolling private school kids into public school won’t solve the problem either because the same situation would still apply, again if your within the 2.5 miles you walk.

  36. “No/minimal tax increases”

    “Balanced Budget”

    Time to reap what you’ve sewn.

    You all voted for it, now deal with it.

    The “courtesy busing” is another “government handout” hence “COURTESY”

    Privatize your busing. See how much you enjoy paying for it. Don’t worry, it’ll shrink government too!

  37. Some good ideas ands lots of ignorance is what I just read from these comments. Does anyone really think that public schools will hire rabbis’s and tweak curriculum? No. That’s why you aren’t in public schools now. And why would your taxes go down because of the end of curtesy busing?!?! It is being stopped because there isn’t enough money to pay right now! not to save money, but because there already isn’t any!
    Good luck with the idol threats. I advise getting the kids who live close enough to walk to school a nice pair of sneakers. Enjoy the fresh air and get healthy. We are no different then everyone else in NJ who doesn’t get curtesy busing. We will also walk.

  38. The traffic during the drill will be understated since all the girls’ high schools are taking finals and are not on a regular schedule.

  39. BTW special thanks to all the BOE & Twship rep we sent to help us, now and the past 20 years, you are fully responsible for this mess.

  40. Walking wouldn’t be so bad if it was only a mile. But 2.5 miles is over 35 minutes. In heat, rain and freezing weather. Also Public schools end their day earlier in the afternoon, so they never walk home in the dark, as opposed to some boys in private school that don’t get out until 5:30.
    Also until it is completely safe: ie every street has a sidewalk, and a crossing guard at major street crossings etc, it is a safety issue. My kids will have to walk past the Highpoint developement whch has shootings etc. This is not right.

  41. Dear concerned citizens :
    The state has absolutely no idea what a safety and traffic risk not having buses shall cause.
    Contrary to antisemetic opinion all lakewood residents pay high taxes 10000 plus.
    We are also doing a service to the state by not overburdening the systems by applying to the public schools
    The bare minimum we are asking for is at least the curtesy busing
    On days when there’s no busing u can’t imagine what life’s like for everyone involved imagine a regular school day
    Furthermore I’m so curious as to where all our money is going that we are in this pickle to begin with ?

    r

  42. V’hamayvin yovin. We need the attention to move things to the next step. To all parents (including working ones), it is a good investment of your time.

  43. to #49,

    It is a threat when you try to make a problem worse than it really is. They say no one should take the busses when in reality less than 50% of the children are losing their busing. All the younger children keep their busing and all children who live more than 2 miles away are keeping their busing. As I understand, it’s about 40% who will lose busing. I am not saying that it’s not an issue. It is. But this is a threat and it will be perceived as such by the rest of the people in the state of NJ. I think that threats to the NJ state dept. of education are not an effective way of getting this resolved. In fact, I think threats are just going to cause them to harden their position.

    The only way I think is to make them aware that the whole town (seniors, public school parents, and us) is of the opinion that the Formula as applied to Lakewood should be different.

  44. #40 Unreal was not “spewing hatred” as many on this site are quick to say, they have a valid point. What about Holy Family on County Line? Or Calvary? Don’t they have private bussing? All the other schools you mentioned put together come nowhere near the amount of bussing Lakewood’s private school students receive.

  45. One point you are forgetting, even the younger grade kids, they can now put on routes up to 120 minutes. Do you want a first or second grader on a bus for up to 4 hours every day?

  46. To everyone reading this thread.
    Any parent that wants to send their child to school on a bus, either Wednesday or Thursday will be able to do so, regardless what their school says. If your school advises you that there will be no transportation, you should know that they cannot deny you that right!!. It is 100% illegal to deprive the child from a service that is an entitlement to the child and NOT the school. Please call the Lakewood BOE if your school gives you a notice of no transportation.

  47. The State will not pay attention to our one day of havoc by carpooling. They will be forced to pay attention to our 25,000 children suddenly enrolling in Lakewood Public School which cannot accommodate them. I pay $8000 in public school taxes and should enjoy some benefit from that!

  48. A few weeks ago, I realized that I have been paying $1000 a year for car insurance, and have not had a claim in five years!

    So I called up geico and told them that since I had given them $5000 and not used the insurance, could they return 50% of that back to me. They laughed.

    Everyone pays property taxes. Young people, old people, people with 10 children, people with no children, blind people, asian people, astronauts, deaf people, people with 9 fingers and 11 toes.

    Those taxes come with the privlage of enrolling your children, should you have any, and should you desire, into a public school system. Should you waive that right, that is your right. You DO NOT however earn the right to demand other services that are not required by law simply because you paid into the system.

    I know that sounds harsh, but that is the reality.

    No one is enrolling their children in public schools. You are just as likely to enroll your children in public schools as you are to buy a hamburger at McDonalds to protest the price of kosher meat.

    What you have to come to terms with is that the law does not require this bussing and you have no right to demand it.

    Feel free to enroll 25,000 children into the public school system. The township, and the state will borrow from the federal government to hire enough teachers and procure enough facilities to handle them, and life will go on. Nothing will collapse. So even if you follow through with your idle threat, it will not result in any armageddon.

  49. The biggest question that both sides of this arguement should band together to solve is… the budget passed was 154 million where is all that money going to? it should be public knowledge btw our issue is only 4 million!! ..comparatively speaking

  50. to all of you who are upset about this trial run that the schools are proposing… if you are so worried about loosing so much time from work now for 1-2 days … what will you do when this is the every day reality? isnt an investment of 1-2 days worth it?

  51. walking sounds great in theory… but what about the boys who have to walk by tent city to get to school (eg cheder, orchos chaim etc) and there are no sidewalks to get there? whats the plan?

  52. Let’s declare June 10th and 11th ride a bike day in Lakewood!
    I pay taxes and I have no kids, can I demand free gas for my car? It’s good idea to enroll your kids to public schools, that way we could get more state funds and maybe, just maybe my taxes will go down. And for courtesy busing, it’s just that COURTESY.

  53. @ #59
    Get in touch with reality. There is no way in hell the public school system can keep up with a sudden enrollment of 25,000 new students. It’ll collapse instantly.

  54. If this Drill event happens, all I ask is that you do not block intersections!!
    First Responders still need to get to an emergency even if you are excercising your Right to Protest!! Be Safe and Be Smart!
    Thank you and Good Luck

  55. To all those commenting that parents do not have the legal right to courtesy busing if they send their kids to private school, no one is arguing about the current law. what the Lakewood parents have an issue with is the fairness of the current law. Lakewood parents send their children to private school because of their religious beliefs, not because they are all wealthy. most of them struggle to do so.

    While it is not the states job to support their religious beliefs, the fact is that Lakewood parents are paying a disproportionate amount of taxes relative to the benefits that they receive. Money is sent to the state in massive quantities in the form of income taxes and sales tax, yet Lakewood is not getting anywhere near the amount they send back from the state.

    In essence Lakewood is subsidizing the rest of the state. Is it legal, yes, is it fair, no. Yet on the state level, they don’t care because the state has been getting fat off of Lakewood for a long time. No one has called for tax credits, although that would be the most fair solution, all they have asked in return for the massive taxes sent to Trenton is a change in the formula, that would bring some relief to the taxpayers in Lakewood.

    The fact that some commentators and the APP seem unable to grasp this simple reality makes me wonder how objective some people are.

  56. I †hink the Igud is smar† for doing this. They met countless times to try to work something out. With a few kids in 4 schools, we are not able †ø pay extra for busing, and there are many like us. It’s a way of making the township realize what the traffic will be like next year – insane. #2 – if you can’t do this for 2 days, how are you going to reearrange you schedule for the next few years.
    On the other hand, the township paying 800 for transportation is minor compared to 16,000+ tuition had they been enolled.

  57. To Sarah 66 if you truly pay taxes in Lakewood you would completely support the state changing the funding formula regardless of courtesy busing. It would lower your taxes. the fact that you don’t seem to support that makes me wonder whether you actually do pay taxes in Lakewood. If you do, you are taking the wrong side on this one.

  58. Everyone just chill out a little.I’ts only a matter of time before the township caves in to all the protesting.So dont worry, I have a feeling everyone will have free public bussing.The”township” wont be able to hold out much longer.

  59. Maybe someone can help me with this question that I have had for years…What would our property taxes look like if we were like any other township where most if the children DO go to public school?? Are our taxes that much lower now because 25000 of our students go to private schools? There is something missing here. Please enlighten me..

  60. For those who don’t understand:
    1. The public school system is gaining from the taxes that non-public school families contribute.
    2. If all non-public school kids would enroll in public school, the cost to the public school system would be much greater than bussing.
    3. If bussing is stopped, traffic in this town would WORSEN if you can possibly imagine that!
    4. Doing a “drill” (or even talking about one) brings home the point to the board of education, township, and county and state government much louder than just talking about the need for bussing or the #s or $$$.
    5. Hopefully the drill will not be needed. If the message is not received without one, let’s go for the drill!

  61. To #70 and all the other “Lakewood Jews don’t pay taxes” conspiracy theorists:
    Property taxes records are public. You can look on the internet and see all the people with very Jewish names who live in Lakewood and see how much they pay. Yet I see this screed repeated over and over. The ignorance of many of out neighbors is astounding.

  62. since the state refuses to change their funding formulas, i think the best way to solve this issue would be to work with the system. how does the public school report the amount of kids enrolled in the schools? Is it on a monthly basis? is it an average of the year? so why cant we enroll our kids (all 25000 of them) in the public school for 1 day a year if it is done on an average basis and the lakewood schools will get such an influx of $ from the state that they wont know what to do with it and we’ll get the courtesy bussing. And if the count is taken on a monthly, then one day a month we can bring all the kids to the public school on the first or last day of every month. The lakewood BOE will benefit greatly from all this as they will get a ton of $ from the state so they will work with us gladly. I’d love to hear what everyone thinks of this.

  63. why are people calling this drill a protest or threat… why cant it just be what it is… we would like to see and for the state/township to see what this would look like. why wait till first day of school in sept and then for everyone to have to scramble to figure out how to solve this mess. Yes, dont block the intersections… although I dont really know how a police/ambulance and definitely a fire truck can get through if there is a backup on a narrow street for a few blocks, they will be stuck as well no? and before anyone says that this will be caused by this drill, whats the difference, this will be an everyday occurance next year anyway… one day out of 365…

  64. Nearly 75 comments and no one seems to get it!!! Your taxes are this high due to your own voting! Traffic is crazy. Your voting! Its not about the $$ collected its hoe its spent.
    I don’t have numbers, all i do is have a look at the bulding permits disregard for traffic and i see how the entire town is run…

    All there is to say. I TOLD YOU SO.
    NEXT TIME VOTE WITH YOUR WALLET!

  65. to RY.
    Unfortunately your theory doesn’t work. The public Schools will only get funding from the State if the student is enrolled through December. So any idea of sending children to Public Schools would mean keeping them there for 3 Months+ until you see a dollar from the State.

  66. I have a question…… say you do enroll your children in public school, what then, are you going to demand that the schools now separate the boys from the girls, in class rooms and on the buses? Just curious

  67. I agree with the state formula. They know what goes on and they don’t want to help encourage that. You’re trying to make an entire country out of one little town. I don’t understand how every other race and religion can co-exist including all non Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish people, and only Lakewood has these problems. Obviously there is something wrong with the way Lakewood is doing things. I am in no way biased and it makes me laugh when people with common sense and genuine concern try to voice our concern about for example, a school in an idustrial park, we get called anti-semetic. When in reality, do you not understand how dangerous that is? How about the chemical leak on Lehigh a few months back? It’s an INDUSTRIAL PARK! Do we care more about your kids than you do? Zoning laws and other laws that have always been in place are for good reason. You’ve changed a system that works into one that doesn’t. You tried, you failed, give it up before you run this beautiful town into the ground.

  68. Look, the public school system here is a failure. With all the money being pumped in to the public school system, you would expect the best teachers and kids coming from the local public schools.
    So many people in this town send their kids to private school, so much money gets pumped in to the public school system . Where is all the money going? The law is the law and I will pay my taxes but where is it going? Can someone please stand up and explain?

  69. I think instead of causing gridlock in lakewood why not close down the garden state parkway HEY I’M JUST LEARNING FROM OUR GOV. (BRIDGEGATE ANYONE) on a few sunday mornings so nobody could get to the jersey shore and then I think they will take us seriously (its not really hard to close down any highway)

  70. to number 59# Your comparison to GEICO is a foolish one. Insurance premiums are paid so that IN THE EVENT of a incident they will cover your damages essentially the service they provide to their rate payers is the security of being covered. Nobody pays taxes for nothing. People pay taxes for services. Fire, streets, garbage disposal and public school etc. If Public school is not a realistic option for a taxpayer then the municipality is NOT providing commensurate service in return for the taxes paid.
    It is true that astronauts, human mutants, and senior without children pay taxes and perhaps without getting the benefit of public schools. But education is a social contract that people agree to provide for many reasons. Seniors have had their own education and their children’s education paid for by taxpayers. In addition educated children grow the economy, educated children are less likely to turn to crime, Children in school allow their parent to work etc. this are universal benefits.
    All things considered perhaps its not valid to ask a school district to accommodate one or two individual cranks, but when an overwhelming majority of school age children are not being serviced by the existing education service infrastructure, then it certainly behooves the system to change. The fact is, America is all about choice if a majority of people wanted a Nazi Government or Muslim Sharia Government then they could amend or constitution and it would be so. That is what we would have and that certainly is true on a smaller municipal scale. But even more importantly there should be at least some quid pro quo. The public schools certainly have not made any attempt to provide educational services for an additional 25-30k students, So there should be some financial appreciation for that burden which is currently being carried by the Private School Parents. To give you an apt insurance metaphor,..if you pay higher deductibles your premium should be lower.

  71. This ‘drill’ is a petulant threat. As a kid growing up in Brooklyn, when I heard about crowds chanting, “No justice, no peace,” I thought it was civic blackmail. So is this.

    How do we go straight to the nuclear option, taking to the streets to force the state’s hand, without offering alternatives? As a parent, I have never been asked to pay for busing (other than Sunday, of course) or drive my teenage son’s late route. I’ve never read an article in the Yated or the Voice about compromises or creative ideas to streamline busing. Do we really think that our busing is so efficient that if we had to pay every dollar out of pocket we’d run it exactly the same way?

    This is not the way to solve problems and is an embarrassment to our kehilla.

    (If alternatives were put on the table behind closed doors, we have a different problem of principals representing parents when we should be participants in the discussion. Most solutions proposed for streamlining busing primarily impact parents.)

    To those who argue that we pay taxes and busing is all we get:

    Only about half of property taxes go to the school district (http://www.lakewoodnj.gov/department/tax-collector). A family that pays $7,000 in property taxes and has 5 children in school is paying $3500 in school taxes and receiving about the same amount in busing benefits. Add the cost of other benefits like nursing and textbooks and it is not clear that every taxpayer in the kehilla is contributing more than they take out.

    In any case, it’s *irrelevant*. Taxes are not a put-a-dollar-in, take-a-dollar-out proposition. Most of us grew up in big cities where we could mind our own business while someone else took care of infrastructure. Now we *are* that someone else. As the majority in town, we are responsible for roads, sewers, parks, the electrical grid, and… public schools. We need to think more broadly than our own needs.

    Fundamentally, there is a pie that is not big enough to go around, and laws and funding formulas that were not designed for Lakewood. Let’s deal with that like grownups.

  72. dear yid arnold, i hear what you are saying but there is no other town in the us besides brooklyn ny that has this high a population of kids. But Brooklyn has a great public transportation system that all the highschool kids can use to get to school and a sidewalk on EVERY street big or small and street lights all over (no 4 way stops like here 🙂 so lakewood is a very unique set of circumstances when it comes to this issue. Also, re the schools in industrial park, where else do you suppose we put them? there are 25000 students in this town, there is physically no space anywhere else, this was the only option for the schools. And when you say beautiful town, what exactly do you mean? maybe it should look like the highpoint development or the slummy part of ridge ave? or maybe tent city is the way to go?

  73. #84 Nj law basically states that all children regardless of race , religion, color,nationality, or immigration status must be provided a public education through grades 1-12, paid by taxes levied on property owners. The orthodox community has elected not to avail themselves of this service, just as many catholics, homeschoolers,and others who have decided that a better education for their children’s needs can be provided in a non public institution. There is no opting out of this system by anyone, seniors, people who are childless, or private schoolers. This is what keeps public education working. It is there for you to use,or not.
    Thanks to some Democrats in Bergen and Hudson counties who wanted their Catholic children’s transportation paid for by the State, NJ is one of a few states that provides private school transportation paid with public funds. And unless the state revises it’s funding formula to take in account Lakewood’s uniqueness, our taxpayers must shoulder the responsibility of paying the transportation costs, public and private.
    Lakewood’ Board of Ed. is broke. So is the Township, county, and State. The bottom line is if the same level of services are to be provided,township residents must pay the piper with increased taxes or cut services,such as courtesy busing, which is a perk, not a right for all students no matter what schools they attend.
    If there has to be a protest, let it be for getting the State to change their funding formula, not for what the Board of ed had to do. Be glad that not all courtesy busing was ended as this may be on the chopping block further down the road.

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