What’s Next for the Over 10,000 Lakewood Children who Will be Losing Busing?

school bus traffic rt 9 2015 tlsSo the referendum was overwhelmingly voted down as residents refused to give in to the State Monitor’s ideas of temporarily fixing the budget shortfalls, and temporarily alleviating busing issues.

Besides for the fact that it would only help as a temporary fix, we’re dealing with an issue of State officials who apparently went back on their promises of securing a solution following months of negotiations and finally an agreement.

What happens now?

As earlier reported, thousands of children will be losing courtesy busing – including public and private school students.

Approximately 10,400 students – roughly 7,900 private school students, and 2,500 public school students – will be without buses. That’s the approximate number of children who reside within the distance limits the state mandates for transportation.

Children K-8 grade have to live two miles and over from their schools to receive state-mandated busing, and students 9-12 have a 2.5 mile requirement.

The big question is now, what’s next?

“Honestly, everybody is worried,” an official told TLS. “The schools, the parents and the state are worried.”

The options are, either the children walk to school – which officials say is a dangerous option, private busing – which would put a financial strain on families, or carpooling – which would create a traffic mess on the already-heavily-congested roads.

The only other option, which is a longshot, is getting the state to step in and figure out the formula once and for all.

Courtesy busing will end on February 23, and mandated busing will continue on February 25. On February 19, parents will be notified if they qualify for mandated busing or not.



This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. To inquire about using content, email us at [email protected]

Stay up to date via our news alerts, by sending ‘follow LakewoodScoop’ to the number ‘40404’ or via Twitter @LakewoodScoop 

Got news? Email us at [email protected], text us 415-857-2667, tweet us @LakewoodScoop.

This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. Copying or reproducing our content is both against the law and against Halacha. To inquire about using our content, including videos or photos, email us at [email protected].

Stay up to date with our news alerts by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

**Click here to join over 20,000 receiving our Whatsapp Status updates!**

**Click here to join the official TLS WhatsApp Community!**

Got a news tip? Email us at [email protected], Text 415-857-2667, or WhatsApp 609-661-8668.


  1. ” On February 19, parents will be notified if they qualify for mandated busing or not.”

    So nice for them to give the parents four days to figure out how to get the children to school and back.

    The parents are treated like dirt!

  2. We need to get our act together and FIGHT IN TRENTON. This has gone on long enough. We are essentially being extorted through the law. The law was written assuming private school enrollments do not require any funding from the state. It’s totally ridiculous. The state recognizes an obligation toward illegals more than an obligation toward local citizens. This must stop. Lakewood has grown complacent. We have not had to push for anything real in a long time. Guess what. It’s time…. We need to call on all our abilities within the system- voting, political representatives, lawyers, enrolling in public school if needed to show we mean business and make this happen.

  3. Can I suggest something.
    We have 30,000 kids in our school system plus 5,000 yungeleit in BMG. Maybe we should arrange a mass demonstration on the steps of the state capital and request our fair share and they should work on changing the formula.
    We can even count on all the orthodox Jewish communities in NJ, because every district where there is a significant amount of Jewish students is suffering from the current formula.
    We have to be clear to our state Representatives that this will be a single issue elections for next few elections.
    The seniors and the general population in Lakewood should be on our side as well, because after all they are also paying higher taxes, which we can cut if the state gives us the same amount aid per student as they give for example Camden and Newark.

  4. Can each school please have one private bus to pick up all those who live withing 2 miles of the school? We”ll gladly chip in. There is no way carpool can work. In order to do carpool I have to take all my kids which means no room for others so I can’t even join a carpool. My child in primary cannot walk a mile by himself to school each day. There aren’t even sidewalks on this street. My only option is to home school him or bring him late after my other kids go on their buses.

  5. Off topic but a great job shout out to the crossing guard lady at Squakum/county line. That is a tough intersection to manage safely even without the snow. I’ve watched her trail behind the kids as a walking cluster on Squakum with all the cars behind her. No other place for these little girls to go, the best part though she does this walk with a big smile as she waves back the cars and watches over her kids. One of several awesome crossing guards! Thank you!

  6. I do not understand why people who are sending their children to private schools feel the state is responsible to get their children to that school. . No public school child should be denied busing because funds are being used to bus students to private schools. I would say raise the property tax in Lakewood to cover transporting, though this is not fair to those who do not have children. Maybe each school start charging the households of students a reasonable amount for each child that needs school bus transportation. I am sorry but tome this is not the state’s responsibility to get you children to private schools when there are pubic schools available.

  7. Do not do anything. This will be fixed soon.

    Nobodies that know somebody, but have no education, innovation, or leadership, made blatant miscalculations. Their misunderstanding of the importance of the public schools in this nation and their wanton refusal to further the public trust while in public office, undermined the cause of justice for our kids and taxpayers for 20 years.

    They should remain on the sidelines. They are irrelevant. No good can come from them.

  8. With all due respect, can someone explain where at least a statement from senator Singer, who we support so much is? R’Aron Kotler just visited the governor and Christie came here to be menachem avel. Christie knows who we are. can anyone get a mike in front of him and ask his opinion? I can’t figure out why we don’t even hear from the state’s execs who we voted in and are actually the DOE’s bosses. They may not agree with us, but at least it will give us something to work with! this silence is just unworkable!

  9. Lobbying the state house won’t help. The state is broke and will not change any formula that costs them more money. NJ has the second to lowest sovereign credit rating in the nation. There is no appetite to spend even an extra dollar unless they raise taxes which ain’t happening. So guys dream on about getting an extra penny from the state.

    As far as your fair share goes well too bad. This is America where I support tons of people on programs that I don’t think is fair

    • sensible guy,
      your comments truly answer themselves. nice to knock people actually trying to fix a challenge they have as was intended by our country’s constitution. NJ is really in a bad position, which just means that our long time political leaders are not helping us on anything. is that the best answer you can give to people who want better and are willing to work for it? just ‘too bad, i hate the system too’?

  10. Lunna,
    If that the case, then let every private school teach as they want. why does the law mandate them to be accredited and teach a certain curriculum? if the school is providing the education the government wants, then they deserve recognition, if they don’t need that recognition, then they should leave those schools entirely alone.

    BTW. the vision you support basically eliminates religion from this country, which is why religious people feel they are under attack. why should I lose services simply to practice my religion? don’t you know why this whole country was founded in the first place?

    the truth is that the idea of public schools, which has led to one of the worst education system in the world, is anti-american here. privatize the schools and use vouchers to make sure everyone gets a quality education!

  11. What will the state do
    If every parent goes to register Thier children in public school
    25,000 children
    What will the state do
    It’s time this happens

    • Chaim, I can’t figure out why we haven’t done that yet, and agree now is probably time to do that. My only issue is that we really would need a directive from the leading R”Y and Rabbanim of the town, and they haven’t offered that, so we could be missing something here. Has anyone heard from rabbanim why this may not be a good idea?

  12. I’m not worried. Believe me, the BOE is more concerned about half their public students losing the courtesy bussing. Let them figure it out. It’s time we stop stepping up to the plate to fix their problems.

  13. I agree with Chaim. If all the thousands of students all go ahead and register for public school what will be the reaction? We would have to go thru all the motions to the point of showing up for the first day of class. To all those who will protest sending our children to the goyish public school, can we keep in mind it would be temporary, hopefully just for 1 day. But if we hold strong that that is our goal to register thousands of children Lakewood and hence the state would have to provide ample space for us and what will be the result?! That would definitely get some reaction or compromise.

    • wondering- we would not have to go that far. They would have to shell out more money before that even started just for there to be a first day. considering that they cannot find any more money, it literally would not get that far. we just would have to be clear that if it did, nothing would change, and it wouldn’t. Its all about negotiating skills

  14. I don’t get the 2.5 mile mandate. When my kids went to school if you had to cross a major highway, like rte.9 you got bused, even if you lived right across from the school. It was a safety issue. How does the state expect any kid to walk 2 1/2 miles to school in this day an age with all the traffic and potential predators out there (and unshoveled snow)? and to Lunna whoever you are – If our people wouldn’t be paying all those tax dollars, where do you think Lakewood would have money from to fund the public school system? We definitely deserve to get something back from all our taxes.

  15. To Lunna. We pay taxes which goes to public schools that we dont use. Why cant i just get bussing from all that money. If 3 of my children were in public school it would probably cost the state at least 75,000 dollars. 3 kids bussing is a few thousand.

  16. Lunna
    The state is responsible to get my kid to school. Period

    Public school is a service of the state. If I don’t send it doesn’t take away there responsibility for busing books etc. This the USA and that’s the law of the land. You can’t expect people to pay taxes and give 0 service. And BTW kindergarten is NOT the responsibility of the federal, state, or local authorities it’s less even the coutsey busing. That’s the law. So let’s go we will cancel kindergarten as was done in Monsey NY. And then there will be money for busing.

  17. My kids always went to private school, and in the beginning the buses were available. Over the years, the number of buses shrunk, but the municipality did provide a small allowance. We knew that we would have to drive our children, formed carpools and made necessary arrangements. It was not always convenient, but we made it work. The state or municipality is not really obligated to provide transportation for children in private school if they live within certain distance. I do agree, however, that buses should be provided for public schools, which gives parents a choice of which school their child can attend. If you choose private, then that is your option and responsibility, just like homework or religious studies. It’s not my job to pay taxes for your kid’s transportation to private school.

  18. dave,
    how does my “vision eliminate freedom of religion. We are talking school not religion. We are talking about a service that provides transportation from a house to a school, and paying for transportation to have your child sent to a private school of your religion is not taking away any freedoms. How many private schools are there in Lakewood? Who built these schools, was it tax payers money. If it was then how about if the state stepped in and said you have to allow any and all residents who wanted to attend your schools to attend. If you register your children in public schools, which most respondents here like to use as a threat you will also be sending you sons and daughters to the same school and they would then ride the same bus and everyone would follow the same holiday schedule and there would be no religion taught during the course of the day. That is why people choose private schools because the schools are allowed more freedom of what they teach and require of their students. Most people would love to send their children to private schools, for the most part of the private schools I am familiar with, the Catholic, Christian, and non religious private schools have a far better education, however most people cannot afford the tuition……..how much is the tuition for one of the Jewish schools? Most private schools also charge for bus service per child, a rather wealthy one in Tinton Falls charged 4K per student.
    Maybe instead of more courtesy transportation, the township can pay and have more crossing guards at streets which would provide more safer crossing and just more security for the young ones walking and in the long run be less expensive.

  19. I agree htat we should hold a demonstration or everyone should apply for public school. what will they do then? don’t they realize that it’s cheaper for the state if we send to private schools?

  20. Let’s look what our brothers in NY accomplished in the last few years, TAP, Tax credit for yeshiva kids, and I know they work hard to change the formula, because of the problems in Monsey & Lawrence.
    Why can’t we in Lakewood do something. Where is the Agudah? I know they are working behind the scenes but they need more support from the locals.
    We need to make it clear for our representatives that next elections we will only look where they stand on the issue of changing the formula, we don’t care what their stand is on Israel, Morality issues, or any other issue.
    We have to look out first for ourselves and we only ask that the state should change the formula and we shouldon’t be cosidered a rich district, and yes the state has a responsibility to make sure kids are getting to school, hence the mandated busing.
    The problem of the district will not stop with cutesy busing, it’s forcasted that tax will need to rise, because we don’t get our fair share. We have KA”H large families and stastictly kids will need to get special ed, and if the state is not sending aid we will eventually bankrupt.

  21. Why did the schools send home a note on voting day with message from Igud hamosdos/Va’ad that the courtesy bussing will be ending in four months (end of school year) and now the above article is saying that it’s ending in less than a month? Can someone please clarify?

Comments are closed.