Saturday, April 1, 2017

Lakewood resident sends letter to WSJ editors

Just sent Leslie Brody and the WSJ Editors the following letter. Everyone please ad your own, this article was nothing less than libel. (author responded to be in touch for future article)

I read your article regarding the Lakewood School District and was severely disappointed. The article is based on lies and misinformation. The fact is that the Lakewood School District doesn’t not provide non-mandated busing to private school children. The fact is that the Lakewood School District does provide busing for non-mandated public school children.

They provide the additional service to public school children, even though it is illegal by NJ State Law to discriminate between the two. If non-mandated bussing is provided to one, it must be provided to all. They do this, even though the vast majority of tax payers are Orthodox Jews who don’t send their children to public school.

Aside for the blatant disregard of the facts, your article is also missing some important relevant information. Governor Christie issued a funding freeze to local school districts. This in effect, punishes school districts that are growing, while having no impact on ones with a stable population. Lakewood is the fastest growing township in NJ by far, and it has been uniquely impacted by this decision.

However, this doesn’t even get to the root of the problem, which is the state funding formula. The formula that the state uses to determine the amount of aid that a district receives, is based on the amount of students attending public school. Although not intentional, this formula severely underfunds Lakewood.

Special Education services in NJ, are mandated by the State. However, in Lakewood, the amount of special-ed students is based on a total population of 36,000 students, yet the state only funds it as if there were 6,000 students. The mandatory school busing for private school students amount to approximately $17 million, yet again, the state funds it as if there were only 6,000 students.

Now that we have gotten some of the facts out of the way, there is something that bothers me even more, the tone of your article. You seem to blame the Orthodox for the problems with the Lakewood BOE. In your article, you make it appear as if the Orthodox are taking advantage of the Public School Children.

I am representative of an Orthodox Parent. I send my children to private school at great personal expense and sacrifice. I also pay very high property taxes to the Township, and income and sales tax to the State. I paid property taxes for a decade before I had any children in school, and even now, the most I ever got from the school district, is bussing for 2 of my 3 children. So even in my worst year, I contributed over $4K of my property tax to the school district portion of the bill, and received less than $1,500 in benefit.

Which brings us to the root of why your article was so insulting. I, and by that, I mean the Orthodox, pay massive property taxes, and take very little in service for those taxes. At most, people in my position should be thanked, at the least ignored, but what happens, we have articles like yours lambasting us and blaming us, as if we are stealing from the poor and dis-advantaged, when the reality is we are paying much more than our share.

I saw one report that concluded that if the private school children in Lakewood would all go to public school, it would cost the State over $100 million in additional aid. The State needs to fix the funding formula, so Lakewood receives the proper funding, for the minimal services that the state mandates, and reporters with agendas, need to stop with the yellow journalism and attacks on people already being victimized by the system


  1. Let us know if it ever gets published.

  2. Silence from the usual vocal askanim.. they must be busy cleaning for Pesach

    1. No one trusts askanim or counts on them any more look how much was accomplished recently without the askanim. the simpletons of Lakewood are waking up and taking the reigns. BTW askanim go away for Pesach they deserve a much needed break after all the hard work on behalf of the klal.

  3. The "ASKANIM" have their personal needs filled by the politicians, therefore they have no need to help the tzibur. On the contrary they are the biggest hindrance.

    But you Lakewood fools keep voting for the corrupt vaad

    Bo singer and the Don are laughing to the bank.

  4. No matter how you feel about the WSJ or any other publication they will probably be more receptive to your letters if they aren't being personally attacked so often.

    Tell them that their sources gave them misinformation if you would like because most non malicious people aren't receptive to those who call them lairs and tell them that they "need to stop with the yellow journalism and attacks on people already being victimized by the system" which implies that the WSJ is full of constant yellow journalism and attacks on victims.

    Those who are malicious will only use experts of your letter to make you sound stupid so don't write to them

    1. A paper like the WSJ should verify the information before they publish a letter. This article was below the standards of such a publication. Which is why the Editors were cc'd on the e-mail.

      It is not the publics job to have to fact check an article from the WSJ, a publication that is held in high regard, it is the duty of the author and editors to do so prior to publishing.

      No one is stopping you from sending your own letter. On the contrary, the more people that bring this to the editors attention, the better.

  5. I'm think this letter was well written and on point.
    Thanks for writing it.