Monday, September 5, 2016

$150 fee for private courtesy busing may be illegal

The LSTA is planing to charge $150 per student for courtesy busing of non mandated students, read article HERE listen to the audio. HERE.
 According to NJ state law parents who are eligible for free lunch meals for their children may not be charged at all for the cost of courtesy busing. Charging the parents of courtesy students fall under the subscription busing statute. Any family that qualifies for free and reduced lunch cannot be charged any monies for subscription busing. Therefore, charging parents of courtesy students across the board is indeed illegal. Additionaly the township can not pay for the courtesy busing costs of only some students, it can either pay for ALL Lakewood children or none of them. Currently the township has decided to pay 2 million dollars only for public school children and not for private school kids. The LSTA is charging $150 per kid to cover the costs.

 Excerpt of NJ law not to charge parents for courtesy busing.
http://www.state.nj.us/education/code/current/title6a/chap27.pdf

(e) Municipal governments may elect to pay the cost of transportation for students who live less than remote from their school through an interlocal agreement with the district board of education in accordance with N.J.S.A. 18A:39-1.2. Municipalities may elect to charge the parent or legal guardian for all or part of the cost of this service. (f) Students who are unable to pay because of financial hardship may not be excluded from receiving services described under this section. The criteria used to determine financialhardship shall be the same as the Statewide eligibility standards established for free and reduced-price meals under the State school lunch program.

42 comments:

  1. They should have hired Gus. I think it would have solved a lot of problems.

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  2. I am sure they have a simple solution, just charge the parents who don't get school lunches $4k for courtesy busing.

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  3. I don't think the law applies to the consortium. The municipal government is not charging parents for the cost of transportation for unmandated students. A private group of schools is organizing busing for unmandated students with the excess funds they have. So the law wouldn't apply to the consortium unless the consortium law specifies that they are subject to the same laws governing municipal busing, which I'm quite sure it doesn't.

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  4. Once the township is giving money for courtesy busing on behalf of the BOE they are automatically bound by these rules. The township can not only pay for one group and leave out the other.

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  5. The consortium is bound by NJ law its not just a private group of schools. They have no legal right to charge parents who are eligible for subscription busing.

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    1. It is private to an extent that is why they were able to create multi yr contracts something which the BOE is not allowed to do

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    2. They have no open meetings

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  6. so who is going to take action and file a lawsuit?

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  7. You're all so stupid. They (LSTA) don't have to give you courtesy bussing at all - only if they can afford to. So go ahead and sue over the $150 fee. Their only recourse is to stop all the courtesy bussing altogether.

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    1. There will likeyl be a lawsuit filed by the ACLU. they would have to stop courtesy busing for public schools as well

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    2. The ACLU has no standing to sue unless they specifically represent specific private school students who choose to have the ACLU represent them.

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    3. There are plenty of parents who would have the ACLU represent them. People have had enough with getting taxed again and again.

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    4. the ACLU can represent NJ tax payers, they never seem to have a problem finding people to represent.

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    5. If the 'consortium' does not provide courtesy bussing-- that is the end of any need for this consortium, remember it was muscled through under the illusion to provide courtesy.
      The 'consortium' needs to remain alive- the big salaries and control-
      therefore if we refuse to pay
      1- courtesy bussing not provided, consortium cant explain their existence and should close down
      2- services will be provided for free

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  8. Where does it say they can't charge? The charge is for courtesy ppl who are by definition not eligible dont see where that is outlawed

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  9. Where do you see that this is illegal. The charges are for courtesy ppl who are by definition not eligible.

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  10. The LSTA does not have to provide courtesy busing, however they are not allowed to charge parents within the district who are eligible for lunch programs.
    The township is paying tax dollars for courtesy busing but only to public school parents the private tax paying parents are getting charged an additional $150 for courtesy busing. The BOE was going to pay for courtesy busing and we voted against it in a referendum. Now the township goes ahead and somehow found extra money two million dollars to pay for it. The LSTA was formed so that we have courtesy busing. Now that we have to pay for it what did we gain? The district was able to provide courtesy busing while getting even less per student from the state. something does not add up.

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  11. The district cut out all courtesy busing. Why is that so hard to understand.

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    1. Because the township is picking up the tab and paying two million dollars for it.

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  12. The township is only paying 2 million for the public because the State voted to help the non public. There are a lot more non public courtesy students than there are public.

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    1. The state vote did not help the non public, all it did was wrestle control of mandated private busing away from the lkewood school district and state monitor and give over to a private consortium. The same funding is there regardless.

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  13. In my humble opinion and the way I see this, is as follows;

    The Consortium is not providing "courtesy" busing in the way that some people mistakenly think it is. In other words, from a legal standpoint, "courtesy" busing, as it was previously defined in the legal code is over and finished in Lakewood, period. What the recently enacted bill provided, is that the Consortium can adopt a new legal mechanism "as it deems appropriate" to provide busing for those students who are not legally defined as "mandatory". The consortium is empowered to still utilize the "old courtesy" guidelines ("as it deems appropriate") in deciding which pupils will be receiving the "new courtesy" busing. Again, the "courtesy" of today does not have the same legal definition/status as the "courtesy" of last year.

    I hope I've simplified this issue enough for those un-versed in legally technical thinking. For further shailos, please contact your local sho'el umaishiv. Ksiva Vechasimah Tova!

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    1. It has nothing to do with courtesy!!!
      its subscription busing and the consortium is under the state monitor as they have to report to him.

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    2. Apparently, you did not read the bill. You are plainly wrong. The fact that the Bill provides for the state monitor or the BOE (if there is no monitor) to appoint one member and also review and order an audit of the Consortium on behalf of the NJ Dept. of Education is totally irrelevant to the definition of "courtesy" discussion. Please put on a thinking cap before you type your next comment. Hatzlocha.

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    3. Trachtgut your not thinking. The consortium is funded by govt money thus they are bound by the subscription busing rule and are not allowed to charge parents for non mandated busing. the law is very clear any govt agency administering funds are bound by the law. The second legal issue is the township can not give money for busing only to public school kids.

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    4. Of course the Consortium is bound by State law. But the State law passed in Legislature and signed by the Governor specifically provides this new entity some legal wiggle-room to decide how and when to apply the non-mandated funds. That is presumably why the wording "as it deems appropriate" was inserted into this new Statute. Ken nir'eh l'aniyus daati.

      With regard to your questioning the Township's monetary participation in this endeavor, I regret to inform you that I currently have no opinion.

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    5. Again, The consortium can decide how to spend money BUT.... They are no allowed to charge money for parents of non mandated busing.

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    6. The relevant regulation at 6A:27-1.5(f) states:
      Students who are unable to pay because of financial hardship may not be excluded from receiving services described "under this section."

      Why are you assuming that this new less-than-a-month-old pilot program is included in "this section"?

      It is my understanding that the "courtesy" busing provided by the Consortium is not regulated under "this section."

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    7. Because its distributing govt funds. The consortium is not schnorring private tzedaka money to fund the busing. It is being paid for by the Govt.

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    8. Your reasoning still does not answer the question I posed to you.

      The Consortium may indeed be in the business of expending State funds, but nevertheless this entity is not bound or controlled by this particular "section" of regulations.

      You need to keep in mind that this Statute is brand new and it will take some time before it gets its own proper section in the Administrative Code.

      Again, this is all my personal reading of the matter.

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    9. I wish i had the patience of Rav Preida..
      Again for the 400th time, it makes no difference how new this consortium is or if its bound by regulations. The money given to fund the busing comes from the US Govt. Its just coming through the consortium window instead of the BOE window but the govt made this law and therefore you can not charge the parents who are eligible for lunch programs for busing that is funded by the govt. Kapisch? kaprende?

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    10. Your clear lack of patience is the likely reason you're unable to stop and and properly digest what I'm very patiently trying to tell you.

      These funds are provided by the State of NJ which has its capitol in Trenton. (The money is NOT coming from the Federal United States Government.) However, for those pupils who receive "courtesy" busing "described under this section", the State attaches a condition in paragraph (f), which is that students with financial hardship cannot be excluded or forced to pay. The Code continues to provide the criteria and "define" the meaning of financial hardship -- which "shall be the same as the Statewide eligibility standards for free & reduced-price meals under the State school lunch program."

      So, it's quite clear that this condition not to exclude the poorer students, as defined, only applies to busing services provided to students "under this section" -- meaning directly through the District BOE, as stated earlier in paragraph (a) or a cooperative of Districts mentioned in paragraph (b).

      This section does NOT control the new legal entity concept known as a Consortium. Therefore, the non-exclusion of hardship-students regulation in paragraph (f) does not apply. The State only created this regulation when the transportation is provided by "District-type" entities specifically referred to "in this section."

      Therefore, I repeat, when due to unique circumstances the State establishes a "Consortium-type" entity, there will be some different rules for that different entity.

      I truly hope this works out. Otherwise, we will be left without any non-mandated busing, and that won't be good for anyone.

      Again, you may want to slow down a bit. I hope I finally made it clear enough for you. Thank you.

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    11. Your keep on repeating the same mistake. The funds are from the state of NJ they are paying the aid in lieu for all private students. Therefore the same law applies regardless of what status the consortium is.

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    12. After reading this whole exchange I have to say that I believe Trachtglat is right (is he a lawyer?) and the other guy missed the boat. I guess we're all going to eventually find out the truth anyway.

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  14. Better problem: the school district is not allowed to give out income and school lunch eligibility to strangers / bussing committee. Its private information. So either the committee sets up its own income verification system (at a cost of a few employees, a few more 'adkanim' bigshots to verify, and throw in a couple of lawyer)s, or forget about it.

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  15. We should wait to hear from the experts perhaps Rabbi Schnal can shed some light on this matter of importance to the klal.

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  16. this is not good for schools. The more there are fees tagged on (snack fee,arts and craft fee,etc. )by the schools or by new busing businesses, the less I am able to donate to the mosdos when they have fund raisers...

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  17. I guess that is what the 150 dollars is going to

    From APP
    Meanwhile, Krawiec and a small support staff have set up an office in a building on South Oberlin Road in the Lakewood Industrial Park. Details about how administrative funding is allocated are still being ironed out, Krawiec said. He declined to provide his salary amount.

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  18. Why doesn'y someone contact DOE and ask if this is legal

    https://www.state.nj.us/education/parents/contact.htm

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  19. The bottom line is as follows.

    1) neighborhood pickups
    2) multiple schools on one bus
    3) longer time on the bus
    4) more students on each bus
    5) tiered openings

    All of which the schools were fighting against last year.

    All of a sudden all this is good ? What happened last year when the state monitor wanted this? He was fought tooth and nail by the groicer knacker

    Where is he now ? All of a sudden he is quite?

    How about schnel? Where is he ? Nowhere to be found.

    No statement from anyone.

    We all deserve this and brought this on ourself. As long as we go like sheep and vote for the people the vaad and igud tells us too without checking the candidate out and holding them responsible this will continue to happen.

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    1. The problem is, no one votes for the Askonim. They just do what they want to without any of us agreeing. I didn't ask anyone to go to Trenton and push through a law. In fact, I voted AGAINST courtesy busing as did a majority of voters. So I cannot understand why this law was created in the first place.

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  20. Here is a suggestion why the mosdos agreed this year, when they fought last year.
    The reason the schools fought last year is because they did not believe there was any benefit. There was still not enough money. This time, the cheshbon works out.

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