Readers’ Scoop Continued

(Continued from home page). And just hold-on, this is not about Orchos Chaim, certainly a fine mosad, nor its principal, for that matter. We say this item struck us as ‘odd’, because, if you have a neighbor, friend or relative who is parent of a child with special needs, you know a little about the anguish parents routinely experience trying to get special ed help from the District. Bashing your head against a brick wall, doesn’t even begin to capture it. But if you yourself have a child with special needs in Lakewood, as we do, you know—up, close and personal—the excruciating pain, heartache, as well as the intimidation, abuse, and outright blackmail you must endure in trying to obtain special education services. Be it a reliable evaluation, an accurate, comprehensive IEP, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Behavioral Counselling, or any other special education service essential for your child’s growth and development. So this hollow “newsletter” testimonial struck us so bizarre that we decided to take a closer look. Guess what we found? BOE records show that Orchos Chaim, whose principal “volunteered” this apparently “unsolicited” testimonial, was paid $112,275 in 2008 in special services from local taxpayer District funds—for just one student. The highest award made by the Lakewood District, nearly four (4) times the District’s average per-child award, (see Chart). But let’s not jump to conclusions. Despite all appearances, this is, after all, not solid proof of a handsomely-paid political ad. Perhaps it is purely a coincidence that, of Lakewood’s approximately 20,000 preschool and school-age children, the single most needy child just happens to be enrolled at Orchos Chaim. Orchos Chaim, is after all a fine mosad, and definitely deserves credit for enrolling and caring for this child. Maybe the principal, just coinicidentally, got a little carried away by hakoras hatov for this one child, and ignored the District’s overall dismal performance record and sordid tactics. Maybe. But, again, though noteworthy, that’s not really the main point. And before anyone comment about this specific case, losing focus, please answer one simple question, which is our main point. Who, besides Michael Inzelbuch, decides how to distribute annually a Special Education and related services budget comprised of $20+ Million in local taxpayer funds, plus another $17+ Million in federal and State funds?? With a Special Education services budget for nonpublic schools (mosdos) totaling nearly $40 Million ANNUALLY, and rapidly growing, who decides that one child will get $112,275 per year, while hundreds of other, similarly-situated children in our mosdos, including our child, will get not a single penny? In short, how is Michael Inzelbuch qualified to pasken dinei nefashos on who gets into the lifeboat, and who is left behind to drown?? How is this decision reached? On what basis? When? Where? Let us save you many hours of research. No one. And NO ONE looks over his shoulder. Duped again and again, the members of the BOE have abdicated their responsibility, and have given Michael Inzelbuch a free hand to use and abuse his authority as he deems fit, and are paying him handsomely to do so. As taxpayers we would like to know how long this abuse will go on. But much more importantly, we, as well as hundreds of other parents like us, demand to know. As we said up-front, the answer to the question posed at the beginning of this letter really depends on who you ask—those who know what’s going on—or those who don’t. (click here to comment on home page).

NEXT: Stay tuned for Part II of the Parents Letter.

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