Watch Live 7:30 PM: Lakewood Board of Education meeting

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  1. As a long-time resident, this is the first time following a board meeting. The public school after-school programs sound amazing. Would like to know if they are covered by local taxpaying families. Can legislation be put into place to offer them as well to private schools?

  2. To lkwd Mom

    Unfortunately, private schools do not get funded from the public school system ,other than the specific state and federal Grant’s for tutoring . Other than that there is no funding for anything.

  3. As for the participation of nonpublic children, a NJ “board of education may, but is not required by law, to allow a child educated elsewhere than at [public] school to participate in curricular and extracurricular activities or sport activities.” Alpert v. Wachtung, 13 N.J.A.R. 110, 119 (1986).

    The ALJ noted that “it has never be judicially suggested that the exercise of the basic right to forgo a public education in favor of equivalent instruction precludes a person of availing himself of any state supported educational service or facility. Alpert at 117.

    You do not need legislation. A simple BOE resolution would be sufficient.

    As for English at nonpublic schools, I have written extensively, and I think I would prevail in litigation, that in light of Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, 536 U.S. 639 (2002), that public funds may be allocated directly for the benefit of the individual student for regular curricular activity at home or any other place of his/her choice (including a school), so that attendance at the religious school is irrelevant to the aid. Tuition can be cut in half. Moreover, there is a provision in the administrative code N.J.A.C. 6A:8-5.1(a)2 that such a program can be build upon. This would likely be challenged.

    As for funding instructors for supplemental and non-curricular activities “there is no reason to presume that simply because she enters a parochial school classroom, that a full time public employee such as a Title I teacher will depart from her assigned duties and instructions and embark on religious indoctrination…” Agostini v Felton 521, U.S. 203, 226 (1997). However, at this time, I know of no provision in the administrative code that would authorize a BOE to provide this. It needs further research.

    It is another matter whether Lakewood, given its financial restraints, could afford this kind of program.

    (This is for educational purposes, not legal advice, but I am ready and willing for the fight.)

  4. To Mr Lang

    I was not commenting on the legalities. I just stated the fact that Lakewood BOE and almost every other BOE in NJ do not fund non public students ,with the minor exception of some specific state and Federal Grants designated for tutoring weaker students . The liberal climate in NJ and the public school teachers union will not allow this to happen .

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