State Monitor Overrules BOE, Approves Budget; No Courtesy Busing for Most Students

PHOTOS: After a nearly five hour Board of Education hearing on the budget Tuesday night, the newly-appointed State Monitor has b1overruled the BOE vote and has approved the approximately $150 million budget, as reported last last night on our news alerts (@lakewoodscoop).

Though board members struck down the budget, the State Monitor, Michael Azarra, ‎appointed by the State about two weeks ago, has the power to override the board’s vote.

The approved 2014-2015 school budget would reinstate courtesy busing for children in kindergarten through third grade, but would still exclude busing for grades four through twelve, officials say.

However, ‎the courtesy busing crisis facing the remainder of the students is real, and the only way busing for the remainder of th‎e students could be reinstated is if the district is able to cough up more money before the budget goes into effect. And that, says an official, would only be capable with state aid.

b2The deficit for this year stands currently at about $5 million due to under-budgeting last year, a board official said.

Also at the meeting, which was attended by hundreds, the State Monitor thanked BOE President Zlatkin for his efforts in reducing the shortfall and managing to reinstate part of the busing, despite the shortfall and financial crisis.

The budge goes into effect July, 2014. [TLS]

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85 COMMENTS

  1. Time to join together and make a statement.

    I will not send my kid to school as long as there is no bussing. I’m not a taxi and my kid can’t walk 1.7 miles.

  2. I think we have to have a real discussion about special ed costs vs. courtesy busing. we are now spending 25 million on special ed in the school budget, and these special children deserve all we can give them, but if we can bring down the cost from the current $100,000 per special ed student to something closer to the state average $40,000 per special ed student we would have enough for all the bussing several times over. Our regular students also have real needs, and those needs can’t be ignored. We can’t have everything, and 100k seems excessive if it means we can’t pay $750 for a regular 4th grader to safely get to her school.

  3. GREAT JOB Michael Azarra !! thank you for coming to Lakweood and helping us out of our crisis. Courtesy bussing is just that a courtesy .. if we cant afford it then it has to go !!!! Lakewood BOA finally moving forward

  4. I think all the residents and state officials that are against getting courtesy busing should think how much we are saving the town and state.
    If the over 20,000 private school students would register tomorrow into the public school.It would cost the tax payers over 300 MILLION dollars plus another additional 150 million dollars of building classrooms.
    All we are requesting for from the state is a meager 5 million for the safety of all children of Lakewood.
    More cars on the road bringing children to school equals danger gridlock,and More pollution into our environment.

  5. Okay, I give up. I can’t afford the added cost to transport my children to school on top of the private school tuition.

    So you guys win.

    Where do I go to sign my children for public school?

  6. We could go back and forth on this but the reason for this crisis is only one thing: the calculation that the state uses to give aid to towns does not take into account a town like Lakewood. WE NEED TO JOIN TOGETHER WITH SENIORS and PUBLIC SCHOOL PARENTS TO GET THAT CHANGED. If it isn’t changed, everyone loses. We lose on busing and higher taxes. Seniors lose because they pay higher taxes. Public school parents lose because there’s less money for the public schools.

    State aid is based on two factors. Property values and the amount of children in the public school. The higher the aggregate amount of property the less state aid we get. The more public school kids, the more state aid a town receives. In Lakewood, we have plenty in terms of property values but proportionally, have few children in the public schools. That’s why Jackson, Howell, and Toms River all get more state aid per pupil. Until we rectify this, we will always have a problem.

    And every time a new house is built in Lakewood and the children of that house do not go to public school, we get less aid than we got before (because now the aggregate value of the property in town goes up but no offset because the kids in that house don’t go to public school. This is the problem. It will not go away unless we put our kids in public school (not going to happen) or we get the state to change the formula at least with respect to Lakewood. Let’s join together with the whole town because it will benefit everyone!!!

  7. Hey Joey, go ahead, is your right to use public education but be prepared to leave your religion beliefs on the front door like the rest of us. If you can afford private schools you can afford everything else. I don’t have school aged children but I’m still paying taxes, what should I get in exchange?

  8. Joey, That’s an old, old threat that has no teeth as we all know that any orthodox parent wouldn’t allow their child to set one foot inside a public school. And maybe the Governor will throw 5 million in the pot to gather good will and backing for his presidential bid, but the fact is the State is broke also. The writing on the wall that until now the
    Board of Ed.has refused to face is that ANY courtesy busing is no longer affordable unless the principals of the private schools using it hash out some sort of order for a chaotic, unsustainable system. The alternative is soaring, unaffordable school taxes for everyone in Lakewood. or to look into alternate solutions for raising funds as suggested by commenter #4.

  9. Let the school shuffle begin. We will all switch to schools that are distant enough from our houses in order to continue receiving bussing.

  10. to#4
    The cost of special ed tuition is capped by the state at just over $100k including transportation. The IEP of a special ed student will dictate the placement for that student. So, for example, if an IEP states that Schi is the best placement for a particular student , the BOE does not have a choice and must place that student in Schi, so long that i’ts tuition costs are below the state cap.
    The problem with special ed lies in the state aid funding formula, which is based off of the public school enrollment and not the entire school population. This is one area that Lakewood loses in state aid by having a special ed enrollment which does not reflect a percentage of the total public school enrollment, inline with your average New Jersey district.. Additionally, the state cap is way too high compared with the amount of state aid we receive for any particular student.
    The State needs to step in, not by just placing a monitor at a rate of $95 per hour paid for by our taxpayers, but by having our State representatives such as Senator Singer who represents Lakewood in the State to advocate on our behalf, yet nothing, absolutely nothing has been done to help Lakewood. Shame on all of them!!!

  11. Years ago when the fish merchants raised the prices on fish because it was known that Jews bought fish for Shabbos(Sabbath) the Gedolim(Jewish leaders) decreed that no fish is to be purchased anymore. What is needed today is for the gedolim to once and for all put a stop to this. Let us not just threaten but ENROLL EVERY SINGLE CHILD into public school. This will all end real quickly, I give it about a week.

  12. Azzara is opening a can of worms unless he comes out immediately and says that the courtesy busing will be upheld. its time the Jewish community show up to the BOE meetings and show the state that the members of the Educational board are representing a large student bpdy of the community of Lakewood. The reason they are on the board is also because of previous years abuse of monies that were to be allocated for the private schools was being hidden.

    The people who are protesting the buses are largely undocumented people who come to america and get free education at the tax payers expense. almost all of the undocumented don’t pay taxes. why do i see busing where only Mexican children are getting on and off? there is special programs for their integration with special busing. lets get rid of those programs and their separate routes and then there will be money for the tax payers buses. If someone is coming to the USA at age 16 he should know English before being allowed into a high school. Our grandparents and parents who legally immigrated had to learn the language. Let the undocumented learn that there is no free pass to not pay taxes and yet get health and education (while we the tax payers have to pay for health and education????)

    personally i wish we could all go to public school, then votes in separate boys and girls classes instructed by male for the boys and women for the girls. We will bankrupt the state and the state will run and beg us to open local charter schools or allow vouchers like they allow in Cleveland and Milwaukee. the tuition crises in our community will be solved as we will benefit from the taxes we pay.

    We could also break apart and open our own public school system

  13. You can’t blame Joel Schwartz for this. He deserves our support for Township Committee. No state board overrides our Committee.

  14. let’s all go down to the public schools, each and every one of us and sign up for school TODAY. see what they would respond to that?

  15. The amount of cars , kids walking the streets in the dark . Etc… This is pekuach nefesh ,and I am not overreacting .cut back on the speech therapy etc… I would rather my child be safe

  16. To #22.

    It only part of your day because no one else is doing it. If everyone had to drive their kids to school it would take the whole day!!!

  17. To sum it up till now:

    I pay taxes so others can have free health insurance which I can’t afford.
    I pay taxes so others can get rental assistance while I struggle to pay my rent.
    I pay taxes so others can load their shopping carts and pay with SNAP benefits while I buy the basic necessities.

    Why should bussing be any different – I pay taxes so many illegals can have a free ride while I struggle to afford the same for myself.

  18. What has to happen is that all frum yidden enroll in Public school for next year. They will come back begging us to take the bussing

  19. I am still not sure why it’s call courtesy bussing of I pay the same taxes as the public school parents and they get free bussing so shall we. We deserve this bussing it’s not a courtesy! This is without us getting into the conversation of if we would send our kids to public school we have a right I am just talking about bussing here.

  20. I feel sorry for the many poor bus drivers who will lose their source of livelihood due this unfair action. These are real people who will no longer be able to afford their monthly rents or mortgages and other necessities.

    If we’re forced to cut from the budget – it’s only fair that our teachers and staff should be contributing more towards their generous benefits, so we can save the jobs of the drivers who work tirelessly every single day to provide safe transport for our precious children.

    Also, why should the after-school-extras and the many other non-mandated-extras be more important than saving jobs and providing safety for our children??

  21. Does anyone know if crossing over the railroad makes a difference; that even within 2 miles it would be mandatory busing, or it makes no difference?

  22. It is baby talk to say let’s enroll our children in the public schools. Are we really going to enroll and then send them there? And if we do send them would it be for more than a week?? Of course we won’t and the state knows that so it’s a fools argument.

  23. Why are we scared to register our kids in public school we would all pull them out after the first day of school anyway and go back to their regular school.LETS PLAY THIS GAME WITH THE STATE UNTIL THEY MAKE THE FUNDING SYSTEM FAIR.

  24. i say let the private schools rase the price a few dollors per child and supply their oun bussing…that will return enough money for public bussing for the rest of us that cant afford private school

  25. #22:

    Do you drive your children to school on days where transportation is not provided, such as Thanksgiving, or New Years Day?

    The streets near the schools are JAMMED from 8:15 to 9:45. Then try to imagine dismissal times, when instead of just stopping for a moment to drop off a child, the parent has to STAND WAITING for the child to 1) find the parent’s car, 2) run over to it, 3) climb aboard, stowing his/her briefcase, 4) strap in.

    And everyone else is backed up behind, trying to do the same.

    It will not be amusing in the least

  26. does everyone realize that the monitor managed to find more then 7 million dollars missing from an accounting error in less then two weeks!
    give him some time and I’m sure he’ll find money to pay for the rest

  27. I think registering 20K kids to public school for the following year will make a big statement. It will make the press and will finally shape public opinion in our favor. Someone should go to the BOE get an application and put a few thousand copies in BMG and shuls around town.

  28. All the people that wanted lower taxes where are you now? You finally have lower taxes. Actually about $5 mil worth of it. What’s your problem? Oh you don’t like it bec it effects you the lower taxes. Well what did you think was going to happen. Lakewood is the fastest growing district in NJ and you wanted taxes to remain the same? You didn’t want a budget hike for the past couple years, that’s the people who you voted in, so now it finally caught up with you (since you can’t raise taxes more then 2% in 1 year). All I know is that I like the old BOE that we had, before all this new blood came around. You know who I am talking about. Yes, I didn’t know what was going on behind the scenes but do I really care? As long as I had my services and my neighbors kid went to schi and my kids got bussed I was happy. You know why we are in this mess? Bec we were jealous, we thought we can do it better. We voted in people who said the can do the same thing for cheaper. Turns out they were wrong and we were wrong for believing them. This never happened under the old BOE. And don’t tell me now is different, the growth RATE is the same. So they steadily raised taxes and we all complained and now we got what we want NO TAXES. To bad we didn’t know that we will lose our services. So now we are screwed and the people we have to thank are the people who ran on lower taxes. So they saved me $50-$100 in taxes a year and now I’m going to be paying that if not more PER a kid to get them to school. Bring back the old BOE!!!!

  29. if you uses the buses then you should pay iam tiered of subsidizing town house with 6 kids not paying their fair share…… I pay 16000 a year in taxes

  30. Its not a threat if private students will or will not go to public school.Im just stating a fact that the Private student are saving Lakewood and NJ taxpayers 100’s of millions of dollars.So to ask for an extra 5 million to help educate our children (BTW we do teach our students secular studies including math science social Studies history vocabulary etc.probably a better education than our broken public schools system that is filled with crime drugs etc.) is not asking for to much.

  31. As a taxpayer I’d love it if everyone went to public schools:
    No mis-mash busing system because there would be regulated start and ending times for the schools resulting in less confusion and less buses on the road because they would be filled. No more transporting just a few boys or girls, everyone rides together. Less buses equals more savings.
    There would be more control over where special needs children would be sent, more savings.
    There would be a super influx of State aid money due to more children in the public school system which would fund programs repairs and maybe even new school buildings.
    Perhaps the school tax would remain stable or…….even go down!!
    Please go sign your children up!!

  32. I grew up out of town and one year a few hundred parents got together and enrolled their kids in public school after a vote on busing and a few other things was voted down. They figured the city would go crazy and beg these parents to pull their kids out and then give them what they were demanding. Well, the city took the enrollment seriously. They told the parents they didn’t have room for 300 plus extra kids in one school but they were willing to divide them up and bus them all to different public schools throughout the city! The school system was really prepared to do it! But at the last minute the parents obviously pulled out. If you’re not really prepared to send your kids to public school, don’t sign them up because it won’t scare away the system.. They’ll just find a way to make it work within the system. They legally have to take them all and are not allowed to ask you to please leave and go back to private school.

  33. Not such a bad deal-yes I drive kids on those holidays and many other days. I work a wide range of hours and drive a diverse crowd of kids daily. The traffic is congested and lines are long. People tell me I make it look easy while people fly by on there phones, doing their hair, and just plain reckless driving. Yes I am fully insured and carry valid certificates and permits to transport kids and adults. I have no tickets, or accidents as well. I’m probably driving your kids so you can sleep in or maybe daven or spend time with your other kids. Some make sound like its a hassle to drive your own kids? You actually might learn something about them and get to enhance their day, their life. I have never seen it as an interruption to my full day. Deal with it

  34. to #17 in the end of the day it is up to us. we can create alternatives that will cost a lot less that $100,000 per special ed student and then it will be a viable alternative to the current system where everyone can get placed into a $100,000 program. In the end of the day we are approving of the current system by not taking the initiative and there are tradeoffs that affect every non special student as a result.

  35. I HATE to be the bearer of bad news but other towns are doing the same thing..They have set limits on who gets bussed and who does not. It does means you will have to either drive your kids to school or they will have to walk. For example, in Point Pleasant Beach & Point Pleasant Borough all children from the age of Elementary school (Grade 5 and up walk to school no matter the weather, time of year, or if they have to cross a major highway..which most of them do. I have friends in Brick that their kids have to cross a heavily traveled Lanes Mills Rd to get to their school. Its the times. Lakewood students are not alone in this fight but you will lose..You wanted a State Monitor, Now you have one and his decisions are FINAL. You can not get more money from anyone because there is no more to come. IF you want more money for transportation well it’s coming out of your pocket. There is no more state aid..NONE!!! Sorry to dissappoint you, but the state as a Whole is broke.
    If your kids attend private schools then you should have to pay that in your tuition, it should not be the responsibility of the PUBLIC school Board of Education. YOU will have to pay more money..LIke I always say..You can not get blood from a stone..Hense, they must walk..

  36. As a former resident of lakewood though some of my family still reside there, How many of these children live within the confines and designated area that the schools are in?? I paid enough taxes for school while living in Lakewood it was crazy..My kids do not attend schools in lakewood because I chose to pay for private school tuition which by the way is rediculous within itself and I still have to pay public school taxes. I can say I am not happy with the way the BOE has been forced to take on the Private Schools issues as well as public schools Its not the private schools that are controlled by the board so why is it the boards problem for their bussing? I agree its a PIA but your school should supply bussing..In my kids school, the tuition pays part for the bussing of my kids to school. My kids school contracts with several bus companies to get the busses they need for their school or schools. This is just becoming too crazy to believe. Lakewood was once a thriving community, now its all about who is paying for what, when will it end.

  37. When I grew up in Brooklyn those that were privliged and able to afford it got private bussing. The others took the city’s school bus known as the Lenero bus. if you choose the government funded buses there were no corner stops. Yes I remember as a first grader walking to the main street where all parents of my neighboorhood had one centralized stop. Now I see busses stopping on every block. Perhaps if we just stopped being so spoiled and allowed for one stop in each development it would alleviate some of the costs and cut route times.

    In addition high schoolers all took the citi bus. If Lakewood ever starts that public bus let high schoolers take it. There is already NJ transit along route 9 too and so perhaps we can get bus passes for high schoolers living along route 9?

  38. The current system in place does not have an allowance for a huge amount of children coming into a town at once. If you choose to move your family to Lakewood, then Lakewood taxes should be raised to handle it. State money, which comes from other towns should not be expected to bail your town out. You moved there. You pay the money.

  39. maybe if the private schools would change their start and finish times so that all brothers and sisters when home at the same time you could cut the need for busses in at lease half

  40. how about the new public busing expanded to accommodate the children.like in NY. Then you don’t need a thousand buses roaming around town just a few routes i.e down County lLne, rt 9 etc.. then we get a refund check on our taxes of course 🙂

  41. ( corrected my typing )
    I see people commenting about the growth of the population and therefore they think that taxes should go up. Well, I might be missing something very basic here….. But if the population keeps growing from people who are paying INTO the system by paying serious property taxes and yet they are not utilizing the public schools, shouldn’t there MORE and MORE revenue coming in ????? Not less!!!

  42. I don’t understand why the minimal benefit of busing is not provided to taxpayers who send their kids to private schools. Firstly, that is the least they should be getting back for the thousands of dollars that are being paid via property tax. Secondly, from a practical point of view, can you imagine how atrocious the roads would be if you have an additional ten thousand vehicles out at the same time driving children to school? If Lakewood had a congestion issue until now, it would only get ten times worse!!! Next time the State Monitor comes to Lakewood in the morning and gets stuck in hours of traffic, he can thank himself for that! However, the real issue is just plain decency – he knows that these folks are paying a fortune in property tax, and the small benefit that they have been receiving is being taken away? That is just plain cruelty!

  43. 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.

  44. Dear oldmanfury (#48),

    Do you really believe that sending the children to public school would be cheaper than paying for transportation, no matter how chaotic? It is scary how irrational and poisoned people get over this issue.

  45. #27- Go to 4th street and see who gets welfare, food-stamps and free health care. If you can afford private schools, you can afford to put food on your table. Who do you think pays for welfare? The people of New Jersey! Why should Public School students be packed like a can of sardines, when I see empty busses with a few kids in it everyday? Wake up people!

  46. Ask the entrenched committemen why the infrastructure isn’t in place to sustain children walking to school??

    ON another note – is it normal to have 100 mesivtas in town and expect each one to get public bussing? We grew up in Brooklyn there were 4-6 large schools and thats where most people went and yes the schools owned a school bus for transportation……

    There a lot that went on that brought usd to this situation and the entrenced committeemen have a lot to answer as where our tax money is going?

  47. Yesterday as I was walking during my lunch break I saw a bus driver from (moderated) by the four way stop around 7th street allowing a child (boy) no older than seven years of age stand next to him as he drove the bus and hold the steering wheel! My coworker and I couldn’t believe it! All you could see were the kids standing as the bus driver was entertaining the boy. Just crazy! Not only are drivers out of control but so are the bus drivers. Lakewood is so dangerous to drive around. Lakewood is too over populated and still more building continues! Soon it will be impossible to drive around. Lakewood is no longer the town it was 🙁

  48. The state pays up to $100,000 per special ed child ? I dont thinl thats accurate. And of it is, I cant imagine many kids max that out. A child would have to be r”l VERY disabled to cost that much.

  49. Wow!! 4 months after my brilliant Super Bowl = Bittul Torah article, finally, a story gets more posts than that story got. Mazel Tov, TLS !!

  50. All of you need to wake up that you have to stop the influx of more people into the town. This surge of population has caused this situation in Lakewood. Wake up! you’ve done this to yourself. Now the poor seniors will have to pay higher taxes and get nothing in return for it. Stop the insanity — you are claim to be educated people but where’s the common sense here. Instead of complaining get together as a united community and find a reasonable solution and stop overbuilding and overcrowding. Good luck to you all because I’m leaving NJ where the taxes are lower.

  51. Compromise: A solution to a problem where no side gets everything they want.
    From reading all these comments, which range from thoughtful to just plain stupid, the one thing everyone must see is that the system in place is unsustainable. Municipalities all over this state, and elsewhere, are not only eliminating all courtesy busing, but consolidating other routes which unfortunately make for long rides for the children on these routes. Why are they doing this? Because, like in Lakewood, there is no money to fund the systems that they had in place. They can no longer ignore the conditions of their infrastructure, nor rely on taxpayers to dig deeper into their pockets or on yearly one shot deals to keep things afloat. Things must change, and many will not be happy. The state monitor has started the ball rolling on this change. Hopefully he can bring to the table all sides represented by people who truly believe in the interests of ALL of the children and of the taxpayers, not ones that just say these words at election time. Only a well thought out compromise can save any type of bus system in this town.
    And by the way, How does welfare, food stamps,hourly wages, health care, and illegal immigrants get involved with this thread?
    The fact is that the State provides children a public education, at all taxpayer’s expense, no matter what their race, religion, sex or, as the courts have recently decided, immigration status. It is up to a child’s guardians to use this system, or for their own personal reason ,not to.

  52. This is the most important issue facing the voters on Lakewood. I pay property taxes. In addition I pay significant income taxes as well as sales tax to the state, yet like many others in this town, I get no benefit from it.

    It is time that the elected officials start representing those that elected them at the state level. Has the state representative of Lakewood even raised the issue of the school funding formula in Trenton? That should have been his primary concern for the last 10 years.I haven’t heard anything about it if he has. If he did raise the issue and was unsuccessful, then quite frankly maybe it is time to give someone else a chance and see if they would have more success.

    Regarding all the comments from those who send their children to public school, it is frankly quite sickening. The cost to educate a child who does not speak English is $17,000 per child per year. Yet somehow you have the nerve to complain when those who are paying $10k a year in property taxes want a little of it back to cover the cost of busing.

    The system is broken, and unfortunately, in politics, the ones who make the most noise get results. I think it is time for the 80,000 members of this community to take a trip to Trenton and make some noise.

  53. Courtesy busing is just that a courtesy. If a child lives less than 2 miles or 2.5 miles for high school students, then they should have to walk. This helps keep costs down and it also helps these children get in the physical activity that they should be getting every day. This rule should apply to ALL children, both public and private school students. If you want to negotiate to get courtesy busing back, 1. The BOE will provide the buses, but will cut back on the number available. Thus keeping costs of salaries, repairs, and such to a minimum. 2. All children both boys and girls, public and private students ride together, thus the same reason as before. No one comes out happy, no one comes out upset. If these compromises can’t be made for courtesy busing, then the law shall prevail, these children who live within the required distance walk.

  54. I dare all of you to enroll your kids into public schools. the township knows that will not happen. Be real, you would than mixed boys and girls on the same buses. You would not have off all the special holidays, not get out on friday at 12 noon, not have school on Sunday and your kids would have to eat in a mixed crowd in the cafeteria. State law would prohibit a seperate dining facility for boys and girls under the anti-segregation laws on the federal side.
    I can keep going on how none of you will enroll your kid in private schools as you would still drive them to that school to avoid the bussing issues.

  55. There is no question that This idea will end up in serious gridlock, closing down this town twice a day. If the situation isn’t bad enough it’s only going to be much worse if you can amagine.

  56. Our state representatives, the senator and assemblymen should be doing all they can do fix this disaster. Are they trying to have hearings on the formula so that it can be changed? Half of Lakewood would come to support a change. Where are they?

  57. CALM DOWN ~ CALM DOWN ~ CALM DOWN ~ CALM DOWN
    (reposted from above)

    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.

  58. we have to stop sending every single child in school to special Ed the schools are pushing every child to get help at the expense of our taxes.

  59. Why don’t schools encourage kids to walk or take their bikes to school like in Brooklyn?My children s school insist they take the bus even though they could get there quicker by bike and would prefer it that way.Plus they need the exercise.

  60. All we have to actually do is register all the children in public school. They will never spend a minute there because there is no space for the number of children. It will take them years to build enough schools. They will be begging us to take all the kids back to their current schools. It is not an empty threat, we just need a united front and every child has to register. There is strength in numbers.

  61. Why should children in Lakewood get bused when they live under 2 miles from school? This is not happening anywhere else in NJ. This is a waste of money. None of us are that entitled. Our children are OUR responsibility. We need to get them to school. Let’s stop looking for others to deal with our responsibility and be grateful that we were given this “gift” for so long.

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