Why I Won’t Send My Child on the Bus Tomorrow

opinionBy Shimmy Abramson. As a resident of Lakewood NJ who is Jewish and an Orthodox Jew, I choose to send my children to private religious schools. If you were to ask me where in the Torah does it say a Jew cannot send his child to Public school,  the answer is simple it doesn’t say that anywhere, then why do I and another few thousand families in Lakewood choose to send our children to private school? The answer is very simple, while many of our parents may have attended public school, times have changed, morals have changed, and laws have changed as well in regard to what we have to teach our children, yes unfortunately the USA has become more and more liberal and shallow, (If you are like the new majority of Americans the most hated thing today is; A successful businessman married to a woman and have children, you are the cause of all the problems in the world) so we take out of our pockets an average of $4,000 per child a year to pay for private school, in addition we pay for summer camp as well.

A very large amount of us unlike many other people are homeowners, how do you become a homeowner? Most of us scratch together every penny, setting aside tax returns, doing summer jobs etc. for a down payment to make that purchase, as opposed to the theory that Jews don’t pay taxes [as I read on one of the hate sites that makes allegations against the Lakewood Jewish Orthodox community on a regular basis and has Nazi like commenters there] we pay heavy taxes, Tax records are public so go search it if you like, I pay over $10,000 a year property taxes, a nice chunk of this goes for the education of the children of Lakewood, since the schools available are not schools that I would like to send my child to for the above reasons [additionally I am a bit more comfortable sending my child to a school that doesn’t need a police car parked outside]

Courtesy bussing is something that was not created by Local Lakewood officials, it is something that the State of NJ deems as legal, If bus services are cut or reduced, students will have to dropped off and picked up by family vehicles, leading to increased traffic, air pollution and costs to families in fuel expenses. In addition, students affected by busing reductions may find that they have to walk and bike along roads without sidewalks, cross busy highways or railroad tracks and traverse roads with steep inclines or blind curves, this is all okay on pen and paper, if you drive through Lakewood on a regular day you will see that the resort town built for horse and wagons, has grown to become a city, as opposed to the people that hate us growing and having large families, we will continue to do that, and thank you USA for allowing us the freedom to live a religious life. The state cannot be expect us to additionally pay for transportation that we have been receiving.

BUT As it stands, the current BOE budget does not cover transportation for students grade 4-8 if they live within a 2 mile radius and grades 9-12, if they live within a 2 ½ mile radius. “In addition, even the courtesy busing afforded to students K-3, we are being told, will have very large runs and therefore will have some children on the bus from 90-120 minutes- something which is not a solution in our opinion,”

Therefore I will participate in the drill tomorrow which even though many hate newspapers and sites are calling it a protest, it is not, it is showing what a day will look like if the state does not kick in and change the formula for the thousands of tax paying citizens.

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25 COMMENTS

  1. nobody in trenton cares if you decide to boycott the busses tomorrow. All they care about is their jobs. They are people with their own concerns and lives. All that matters to them is if they are going to make out better. Therefore the ONLY real way to make a statement that will be heard in trenton is AT THE POLLS. Vote for representatives who will REALLY look our for our interests. Period.

  2. please don’t change the policy. you can ‘DRILL’ all you want ! It does not change the fact that I to pay taxes ion Lakewood . I do not have any children in public schools , I do not have 4 or 5 garbage cans , I do not use many of the resources that I pay taxes for in Lakewood. Please drill. back traffic up all day. I will leave earlier for work and get home later. If that’s what I have to do to save some money on property taxes then so be it ! I am not hating anyone , I am not a anti-Semite, I am a tax payer that knows curtsey busing must go because Lakewood can not afford it

  3. Thank you for a readable and thoughtful analysis of the realities the average Lakewood Yeshiva parent is currently facing.

    Yasher Koach!

  4. While I understand the intent of your article, you make it sound as if it permitted by Orthodox Jewish Law to send a child to public school. The fact is you are wrong. Public schools, at least in NJ teach Kefirah and Evolution amongst other things. It is prohibited for an Orthodox Jew to send their children. It is not a luxury, it is a requirement. That is why Orthodox Jews send their children to private schools, aside for the reasons you mentioned.

    It is important to stress that indisputable point. Many of the detractors claim that private school is a luxury. The fact is, for an Orthodox Jew it is a requirement.

    My only other comment on your article is the claim that you pay $4,000 for tuition. Most of the boys schools in this town charge in the $7,000 range (still less then the public schools spend per child).

  5. “please tell me why are my taxes going up every year”

    This is best addressed to the group of people who make decisions about your property taxes.

    “we’re is the money?”

    More accurately asked of the people in the first part of your question is, how is it spent. This is public information.

  6. If you are going through the trouble of submitting a letter, please make sure that it reads well and is coherent. You use lose a a lot of credibility by submitting a letter that has many grammatical mistakes and is hard to read.

  7. Using your logic, why should the tax payers of New Jersey (many of whom pay much higher taxes than you) pay for busing in Lakewood. For the most part they don’t live or drive near Lakewood and don’t really care about how much traffic you will have.

    Properly funding the school district is the responsibility of the local residents. The Lakewood BOE has been controlled by the frum community for years so there is no reason why this problem can’t be solved locally.

  8. I’m not sure I understand what the fuss is about. If it costs $5,000,000/year for courtesy busing and the majority of people in Lakewood want the township to spend that money, why not just raise taxes? Assuming there are 25,000 tax payers in Lakewood (and I have no idea), that’s $200/year or $17/month tax increase to cover the courtesy busing.

  9. to #1 Avi yes it is true we have to reach out and pressure our elected officials.

    to #3 tax payer – I believe that you may misinformed and don’t understand the issue, we are calling on the state to kick in, your taxes will not go up from this.

    to #4 Egged bus driver – you can go on the bus as busses will be running, but when there is a community effort to force the state to recognize the problems and you chose to not participate don’t cry later.
    to #7 the article clearly says that the education there is not our torah values, i am not going to get into all the details….
    to #11 gershon you answered very well.
    to #12 tlsfan – go read the APP and comments then you will
    understand this article better.
    to #13 Chayal Boded – I beg your pardon for the mistakes, after all I did not go to public school….
    to #16 Moishe Pippik – we are not asking for more money than other towns, we ask them to give as much as they would give if we would send 25000 kids to public school.
    #17 AE – I think we pay more than enough already

  10. I am a gentile and I choose to send my children to private religious schools. I do this because NJ Public Schools have lost their morals and values. Especially the way they teach the children about evolution and health education, if you know what I mean. The public schools also lack discipline of the children, causing misbehaved students to be a distraction to the good students who really want to learn and succeed. Please don’t hate on me for being a Christian writing on a website read mostly by Orthodox Jews. Not all of us Gentiles are “haters”. I respect the Orthodox Jews on their morals and values and on their scene of being in a community with one another. The only Gentiles who “hate” on Jews are extremists who do not like people who aren’t “the same” as themselves. No matter what race or religion you are, people who send their children to private schools are extremely privileged.

  11. Number 18 Shimmy Abramson. there is a difference between torah Value, and Torah Laws. that is all I was pointing out. It is a significant difference.

  12. Agree with you AE. Courtesy busing is not mandated by the state. Local school districts can provide that as a courtesy. If the Lakewood school district does not have the money, they cannot provide that courtesy. Nothing is free. If you want the courtesy, you have to pay.

  13. Dear #19 Taxpayer1

    No one will hate on you for being a Christian posting on this site. In fact, Gentiles who post nice, non-hate comments are minor celebrities around here.

  14. ” The state cannot be expect us to additionally pay for transportation that we have been receiving ”

    why ever not courtesy means you are receiving a bonus. I f We decide to send to private schools its up to us to take in all its consequences, including paying for schools transportation.
    the issue however the way i understand it is, that the state formula is set up according to the towns restate taxes, and our town receives less state funding since we generate a-lot more in restate tax than other towns, and we the residents have to cough up the difference for services we don’t even use.

    please some correct me if i’m wrong

Comments are closed.