Readers’ Scoop: While Busing Costs Us 14 Million Dollars, Special Education Costs Us Almost 20 Million

Readers-Scoop-Logo smallI am writing this letter in an effort to bring awareness to an unspoken issue. People are commonly heard as saying that all they get out the Education Budget is busing. Especially during election time.

Everyone in town says that busing is all we get and yet we pay the bulk of the taxes. While this type of talk is rampant all year round, it is especially noticeable during election fever. Yet we all fail to realize that in reality we get much more.

While busing costs us 14 million dollars, Special education costs us almost 20 million! This includes SCHI (12 million) and STARS, and other related services. True, most people Baruch Hashem do not need these services for their children, but what about those who do? Are they supposed to be left to fend for themselves? Are we as a Kehilla not responsible to give these parents and children whatever we can to ease their burden? Even if it is a speech or motor skill issue, are we to let them pay out of their own pocket for these expensive therapies? How can we say that we get nothing else, when in reality we get 20 million dollars of help for our brothers and sisters?? Did you ever imagine how these parents feel when they hear people talking like this? They feel like outcasts and neglected. They feel that the Kehilla doesn’t even realize they are there! We must rectify the situation. We must all feel the tzar of the other yid. If they have a child that needs SCHI, Chas Veshalom, then the 72,000 dollars they get should be as if we all got it! We should be Nosai Be’ol.

I would like to end off on one more point. Should funding to these choshuva mosdos stop, it would fall on each one of us to be menadev our own money to keep them open. Not only homeowners would have to pay but even renters. One way or another the Kehilla would have to fund the program. It is truly to our monetary benefit that our tax money goes to these mosdos and not to the Public Schools.

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  1. Granted, 14 million plus 20 million = 34 million.
    How much is the total budget? Now, how much of it do we pay for?
    the point still stands, we support thousands of illegals, and non taxpayers and get very little in return.

  2. What`s your name there? Hiding behind a poorly written letter, with no content whatsoever, making assumptions and asserting responsibities!

  3. It is often said that GOD gives no burden that we cannot handle. A special needs child often tests this saying. Education and socialization in the least restrictive form is needed for children with special needs, and it is our obligation as a community, to help provide for the special education as is determined by the IEP team.

    Special needs children are guaranteed these accommodations. Parents of special needs children need to rest asured that all residents of Lakewood not only are required to help, we insist on helping. Together, our shared expense will in some way contribute to the general welfare and a more stable life for the children and their parents.

  4. Another point that people fail to realize: If you don’t help the children when they are young, many of them will start to fail in school and when that happens, as the years go by, they continue to fall through the cracks and before you know it, many of those children will end up as “Children at Risk”.
    Fix the problem when it is small and not only will you avoid the big issue later, society will be much better having proud and fully productive people.

  5. I am not sure what the point of this post is. Is it a backhanded way of telling everybody that we are donating 17 million dollars a year to a mossad? I know that these are important services, but to say that we have a obligation is a little over the top. Maybe Bonei Olam or Tomchei Shabbos should also get funded by township donations!
    If you are trying to help SCHI this will backfire. When peolple realize that we are giving SCHI $17,000,000 a year they will not donate to SCHI and will question why they raise money at all. There are other very important mosdos that get nothing and have to raise every penny.

  6. “It is truly to our monetary benefit that our tax money goes to these mosdos and not to the Public Schools.”

    I guess that says it all as to where the PUBLIC TAXES will be going.

    Bye Bye Lakewood. I’m moving out.

  7. Being a tax payer who cannot understand the cost of living in lakewood especialy our real estate taxes(that is why i have been renting vs purchasing) i clearly back you up. These mosdos must be suppported and its best via the enormous taxes taken off my paycheck every week.

    The joke is that with the recent cuts my son school has cut many programs for therapy because the servicing provider is bunching up a group of kids under a small slot of time under one therapist (due to less funding) so no one really gains from the therapy. This was to “save dollars”. So now my son does not get ALL the proper therapies he needs to excel and help him stay up with his classmates.

    being a “all on the books” tax payer i feel the current boe dont understands the klal needs.

  8. I am still looking for who you think is getting rich off of SCHI. B”H I am not a recipient, but a donor very happy that my tax money is going to help others that deserve it, and ease their pain. Board of Ed job is to educate everyone according to their means, not deny them in order to cut taxes.

  9. Let me get this straight, You are complaining about the fire budget that was $3.1m but you are willing to pay 70 million for a school budget. UMM Where is the logic there?

  10. “Not only homeowners would have to pay but even renters.” I think that renters SHOULD pay their fair share! Why only homeowners?? I also agree that when the budget is being cut ALL areas must be looked at for ways to trim. Not to deny services but trim.

  11. 9,739,250 + 2,654,465 + 761,700 + 553,311 + 233,360 + 32,175 = $13,974,261 . That is more like 14 million than 12 million. These are the actual numbers that SCHI received in 2009-2010. Furthermore, please see BOE agenda for June 2nd 2010. here is a sample SCHI (SZ) 20,790 +12,053 + 72,320 = 105,163. This is just for one Child. Please don’t say it is 72,000 without checking facts.

  12. Yes it is the responsibility of the Klal to support these children. The same way it is for Hatzola and Tomchei Shabbos. However by building it into taxes and linking this with owning a home you are driving up the cost of owning a home . You are forcing many growing families to remain in cramped (sometimes basement ) apartments for years living in substandard conditions. Should we drive the cost of housing up further until all the worthy causes in town are covered.

  13. #13 renters pay their fare share, the homeowners pay taxes in part from the rental income.

    Maybe the oilam should stop abusing the early intervention programs and bring down taxes that Wayne

    As an aside, doesn’t special ed come from title 1 which isn’t from property taxes?

  14. I agree with #5. I think the point is obvious. There are many great and important needs in town, and many ‘choshuve mosdos’. That doesn’t mean we can force other people to pay for them. I dont think we have a right to tax other people to pay for someones $72,000 (WOW) SCHI tuition bill. If you think there isn’t room to trim in a $72,000 tuition bill you’ve really bought the guilt trip they are selling.

  15. To number 13
    Every renter in essence is paying property taxes. If property taxes would be cheaper than rent would be less. The landlord/homeowner is passing on the price in the rent. Eneough bashing renters.

  16. FYI The cost of educating one child in the public school system is in the 15000 dollar range,in comparison to that we get a drop in the bucket

  17. why did you pull down my prior comment that you first posted?
    5 years ago SCHi tuition was 34k now it starts at 72 to 120k before bussing… what changed in 5 years?

  18. most of the special ed money that is going to the children of famlies that send thier children to private school in lakewood is not comming from taxes , but from the federal goverment. .

    when you add up all the title 1 , IDEA , 192 and 193 money that the discrict gets based on cases. and divide that by 0.8 to represent the almost 80% of famlies that send thier children to private school . and then you add up all the SCHI and STARRS and catapult programs you will find that very little is actually coming out of the money that taxpayers pay from property taxes.

    why doesnt the BOE disclose exactly how much they get from the federal and state goverments ?
    based on what numbers that the BOE submits are these amounts calculated ?
    and how it is distributed?

    so mr readers scoop. if your so smart maybe you should disclose exactly and do the match for US.

    i would answer the question , but i am afraid that if i do this post wouldnt go through.

  19. Please try to understand that it is VERY expensive to provide an appropriate education for a child with special needs. The staff ratio is much smaller and that’s in addition to all of the special services (OT, PT, Speech, Counseling, etc.) that must be provided. A quality education such as the one that SCHI provides does cost money. This is money that the township would be spending on these children no matter where their out-of-district placement is. None of the receiving schools in the area can compare to SCHI in terms of programming, services, and genuine caring. The tax burden would be there no matter what happens to SCHI. These children are the DISTRICT’S responsibility (as they are klal yisrael’s responsibility) and the district must provide an education for them. Removing funding from SCHI would most likely NOT change the amount of taxes we have to pay, it would just switch the school that is receiving the funding. Even keeping the students in-district would only save each tax payer a minimum amount each year. So please don’t blow this “20 million dollars” out of proportion and think that you would save all that money would these children attend a different school. Also, please think about other people’s feelings before you post. With all of the crazy things that are happening in this world (i.e., in Israel specifically) let’s try to promote achdus instead of ripping people apart. Thank you!

  20. My child was asked to leave english for the year because the teacher couldn’t handle a child that needed extra help. The boe did ZERO and had nothing to offer for my son.

  21. The money spent should be the same for all children. Special needs or honor student. Why do we spend $86,000 on a special needs when we spend only 12,000 a year to educate my honors student. He she got $74000 towrds her education, maybe one day she could cure cancer, etc.

  22. when you talk about taxes get your facts straight. people mention this is what we get, what do you think you deserve? we all pay taxes and a good majority of us have no children in school.

    We all chose to live in Lakewood so instead of complaining lets all work together to to reduce our taxes and live together in harmony.

    it can be done, we have very smart caring people on both ends of Lakewood.

  23. I am fairly sure that this was actually a backhanded way of criticizing the funding for SCHI. Why not just state it openly? Look, the bottom line is that we all realize that there is a finite amount of money available and there are many crucial and urgent things that are needed. $100,000 could pay for installing a new traffic light that may save a life. It can pay for extra police protection. It can pay for remedial or kriah help for hundreds or regular school children who need help, and yes, it can pay for the crucial needs of a child who’s family is suffering so much. With all these causes, some of them life and death cases, only our gedolim can make these wrenching decisions, and yhus far, the gedolim have said that SCHI deserves to be funded despite the trade offs. I do not consider myself to be qualified to make such a decision and so I defer to the gedolim who are willing to accept this achrayus. (and yes, I pay 10k a year in taxes and it’s not easy)

  24. As someone whose work brings them in contact with families of special needs children, (and no I’m not a therapist, nor do I work for SCHI), I can only emphasize the pain and real need parents of special needs children have. I do pay taxes I cannot really afford and do not get any additional help from the government in the form of wic, jersey care, HUD, …etc. I do, however, realize how grateful I must be for not needing the services of a special needs institution. If one would put themselves in the situation these parents find themselves in, perhaps there would be a little less outrage over funding. There are very few sources aside from the government that help fund the services these children so desperately need. Insurance doesn’t cover nearly enough, there are very few organizations to help out and the cost can be astronomical. Tuition may have gotten a lot higher but you’d have to compare it to a medical institution and it’s rise in costs to get a fair picture. Advancements in medical treatments cost and advancements in treatments of special needs cost. I’m not sure what the solution is but just hope people put themselves in the shoes of these families before airing their opinions.

  25. # 26 the federal gov. is our tax money , that is where it comes from me, if you build 2 big schools 1 for boys , 1 for girls and you can do it , it would cut the taxes down and the cost of busing

  26. here is the key to saving huge tax dollars for everyone:

    build a school for boys on one and girls on the other half. utilize bussing correctly, 52 seats-52 children. You do not have to co-share bussing just utilize bussing correctly.
    It has to be done

  27. many candidates were interviewed and written about in the shopper. My question to all the candidates why didn’t you answer any questions. Everyone of you never discussed bussing or the dangers in the public schools. You are all looking for votes and not saying anything.
    Answer the following:
    1- we have 6 failing public schools. This past year headway was made and hopefully soon we will have one or two passing schools. What would you do to help the situation
    2- Bussing, 20 Million. What would you do to decrease the overall dollar amount.
    3- what is your opinion on the attorney?
    4- what would you do different then the current board

  28. Hey TLS _ What TOS did I break when I said — A few years ago the township offered a large piece of land on which to build schools but the offer was turned down.

  29. You can’t build one large school for boys and then one for girls, who would be the owner, who would be in charge? There would be a power struggle to find someone to be in charge. Who’s rules would you go by? Look at the schools now not accepting children because of their dress, their parents dress, internet connection, I can go on and on. That is why it would not work.

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