UPDATE: Township to take over Busing responsibilities; Lakewood Busing’s Breakdown, Broken Down

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UPDATE: Sources confirm the Lakewood Township will take over busing responsibilities which the LTSA used to take care of. This will include standard busing as well as courtesy busing. This is exactly what GL said a week ago “The township did receive a loan, so it should not be complex for the LSTA to rename itself and to continue it’s work – with funds from the loan.”


In March, Lakewood was scheduled to receive $30 Million in state aid. $15 Million was allocated from the state’s school funding to help cover transportation and special education costs. This would have funded the LSTA For another year. The other $15 million was to go for provisional stabilization aid.

At the time, Board of Education attorney, Michael I. Inzelbuch said, “We thank the state for recognizing the uniqueness of Lakewood.” 

In the end, the budget passed without providing any State funds to Lakewood. The LSTA will not be renewed. Lots of drama ensued and motions were filed.

A week ago, GL reported that the Lakewood school district will be receiving $36 million in state aid from the School District Relief account in the form of a loan.

This loan will be repaid over 10 years in annual payments of $3.6 million beginning the 2020/21 school year.

There are two significant issues:

Firstly, the LSTA – a quasi-government organization which took care of busing – and courtesy busing, is no longer in existence thanks to Governor Murphy who cut it from the budget.

Kids within 2 miles from school (2.5 for high school) are not eligible for funding and need to carpool or walk. Previously the LSTA arranged courtesy busing at a minimal cost without LTSA this becomes a real issue.

The State allocates money to school districts based on the number of children enrolled in Public school. While the state only covers the Public school students they require the school districts to fund busing for both private and public schools. In Lakewood, roughly 85% of children are in private school while only receiving funding for 15% of the children.

Related: APP opinion piece SLAMS Lakewood school district alleging they ‘bite the hand that feeds them’

The township did receive a loan, so it should not be complex for the LSTA to rename itself and to continue it’s work – with funds from the loan.

The second big issue is after-school programs. The State deemed after-school programs as not necessary for a ‘thorough and efficient’ education. Therefore the loan cannot be used on them. If it were, the entire loan will be disqualified.

The superintendent, Attorney Inzelbach, and multiple teachers are big advocates of after-school programs.

The total cost of courtesy busing and after-school programs is $6.1 Million dollars.

At last nights Board of Education meeting, a referendum was approved. The proposal would pay for after-school programs as well as courtesy busing.

If the proposal is approved by the voters it would cost the average homeowner $203 – this figure is based off an average home of roughly 300K. Since many homes, are new construction, they are assessed at purchase price, at $550K the new tax would be closer to $400 per household.

The tax increase would hit all homeowners. Those who are more than 2 miles from the school, the elderly, families with no kids in school, and houses where the kids walk to school.

If the proposal is voted down, there will be a ‘bus and after-school crisis.’

It remains unclear why the proposal puts busing and after-school programs together. GreaterLakewood spoke with multiple residents who said they would vote pro busing but against after-school programs.

Some speculate the only way to get after-school programs approved, is to pair it with busing. In congress, they refer to this as a ‘rider.’

7 COMMENTS

  1. Here is my question: WHY do taxpayers constantly have to be covering for courtesy busing. Im sorry there is traffic. Im SORRY you will need to get out of bed earlier in the morning to drive your kids and you’ll have to wait in traffic. But such is life. Most girls schools let you drop off at 8:45 so you can still be at work at 9. If you want busing for your courtesy stop, maybe if you paid the full cost for it we wouldn’t have issues. Im curious to know what the cost would be if they did not pay for any courtesy busing at all and if people applied for a stop, they can pay for it the way they pay for camp busing (and for some reason in the summer, many people have NO issues with the driving when it means they have to pay for the bus!) or not get it.
    In a district that is in so much debt, i would think anyone with a half a brain would realize that LUXURIES are the first thing that should be cut. You dont want to drive in traffic? Move out of town.

  2. Sounds like a lot of traffic!!!
    Expect Cedar Bridge and New Hampshire to be backed up daily with police there to direct traffic. There are a combined 2500 students that need to get into Oberlin. While not all of them will lose busing, even 25% of that will cause a traffic nightmare and require police directing traffic (uses $$$ and ties them up from doing other things) How do you think UPS will feel when they are having a very difficult time getting in and out of their block!!
    That is besides all the other schools in town. Expect Cross to be even more backed up, Rt 9 to be at a total standstill etc. etc. etc.
    Busing is necessary in this city.
    Rather than raise taxes, maybe each school can charge a small amount to the parents and arrange busing themselves.

  3. Time to do the inevitable.

    REGISTER ALL OF THE KINERLACH IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM.

    FIRST TO REGISTER ALL THE BOYS IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM, IF THE STATE DOESN’T COME THROUGH?, WE GO TO PLAN “B”.

  4. It is a very bad idea to threaten the state with enrolling our children in the public schools, because if we don’t go through with it, the parents will be liable to be charged with a number of criminal offenses such as fraud. Further, the state will never work with Lakewood in regards to funding in subsequent years. Or, we would have to have our children go to public school and receive only a secular education with no religious accomodations — which would be unconstitutional.

  5. How come lsta carried over debt? They got all the aid in lieu for every eligible kid and claimed they negotiated better deals for the runs! Something isn’t adding up?

  6. Bussing should be privatized and operated by the bus companies for a fee. If you don’t want to sign up,you can drive. Most homeowners will save money. Government run “businesses” are always way more expensive because there is no competition and “customers” are forced to pay whether they like it or not.

  7. Signing all kids to Public School WILL DO THE TRICK!!!

    Satmer has done it…

    If the Rabonim will tell everyone to do it and there will be ACHDUS than IT WILL WORK.

    The cost for the state will be unbearable!

    Try 35,000 x $25,000 Plus buildings.. we are talking close to a BILLION DOLLARS 💵 YES BILLION $,$$$,$$$,$$$

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