Thursday, May 4, 2017

Lakewood BOE president: pens Letter to the community as budget deficit looms

 The Lakewood school district reportedly could lay off more than 100 teachers see HERE 
This time can no longer threaten courtesy busing, so now other non mandated programs are on the chopping block. All along, the problem was and is the state funding formula. Now they wake up when its apparent with 3 state monitors in place for the last 3 years to oversee a budget, and yet there is still a deficit of 15 million dollars! In any company they would be fired. The BOE will meet on Monday May 8th and likely vote down the budget.

BOE website
April 27, 2017
Dear Lakewood Residents:
As Board President of Lakewood’s Public School District, I am deeply concerned about the major budget deficit looming over our schools. I am deeply concerned about the damage that looming budget cuts will have on the education of the public school students and I know that my concerns are shared by my fellow board members, administrators, parents, staff, and by all Lakewood residents, including those without children in the public schools.




At our March 15, 2017 Board of Education meeting, we were presented with a preliminary budget which would have made devastating cuts to the District’s educational programs, staff, supplies, capital projects and extracurricular activities. The budget eliminated (1) 22% of all teachers, which would mean firing 106 teachers and unmanageable class sizes; (2) all athletics; (3) before and after school programs; (4) elementary school guidance counselors; (5) basic skills teachers; (6) literacy coaches; (7) related services for non-public schools; (8) summer school programs; and (9) most facility repairs.
The Board of Education and I unanimously rejected this budget. The State Monitor, who has full veto power over our decisions has not overridden our vote. Simply put, we cannot and will not agree to balance the school budget on the backs of children. We also adopted a resolution at last night’s Board meeting which expressed the Board’s “steadfast disapproval of any school budget that cuts valuable staff, programs, supplies and services from the District”. By law we are required to approve a balanced budget and have another budget vote set for May 8th .

We faced similar budget deficits many times over the past years, due to the severe unfairness of the State’s Funding formula, which counts only 1 of every 6 Lakewood children in its formula, making us appear to be a wealthy district when we are anything but. We therefore lose tens of millions of dollars each year in State funding and simply cannot keep our district running when we are robbed by a discriminatory formula.

It’s really simple: Children should never be the victims of budget problems. I call on all of us together to speak up with one voice and to advocate for our most precious resource – our children! If you want your voice to be heard you can also sign the petition initiated by the Lakewood Vaad and Rabbi Yisroel Schenkolewski, the Igud Hamosdos of Lakewood and Agudath Israel of New Jersey which will be presented to the State and which asks that the State count all children in Lakewood, and which gives Lakewood its fair share of deserved funding.
https://www.change.org/p/new-jersey-governor-speak-up-stop-budget-cuts-that-devastate-our-kids
Very truly yours,
Barry Iann
Barry Iann, Board President

18 comments:

  1. Maybe a good alternative would let the Lkwd District go bust and NJS will then be forced to educate and fund the system themselves.
    We are smelling something that is coming from the BOE that an appeal will be made for taxpayers to chip in and help. If this happens I can assure you there will be a tax revolt.
    There are three monitors paid with our tax dollars.We have not heard any suggestions from them what to do. Where are they as representatives of NJS Education Dept.
    Maybe an alternative would be for us to enroll our children in the public school system and we could crash the system.
    In any case your petition is nonsense as long as the Legislature and Gov Christie are doing nothing to help. They are laughing at us. Why cant you see that

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    1. I like the idea of enrolling and crashing the system.

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    2. That is an interesting thought experiment, but you know our children will never actually set foot in one of those classrooms. What do we do if they call our bluff?

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    3. I have no problem enrolling my kids in the district. Enough tuition.

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  2. Be careful this petition will end up causing them to raise our taxes they are floating the idea to raise taxes above the 2% cap.
    We need a full audit line by line item of all spending by the district.
    It's time for full accountability of our tax dollars.

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  3. Actually if we registered ,then the formula would kick in and the state would be funding the district based on 35,000 students and the shortfall would go away.

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  4. Again the tiburon is paying a heavy price to protect a few well connected ask animals that are getting be funding for their projects. They don't want us to know how much they receive nor that there is a conflict of interest by telling us who to vote for.
    The taxpayers should demand full disclosure of all spending by the district. Let's see where every penny is going.

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    1. Please read the previous comment. You don't seem to be aware of the actual issue. There is literally nothing the BOE Board, who i think are volunteers, can gain.

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  5. We must file a law suit against the state for imposing a state monitor that has power to override a democratically elected board. What good is the BOE if they have no power. A state monitor us unconstitutional this matter should be brought to federal court.

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  6. State law is that any district that is running a deficit ,gets a monitor. The logic is that if you have deficit,then you are asking the state to give you extra money and they want to,monitor your finances.

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    1. The state can appointment a monitor but the monitor should not have the power to override the board. The residents elected a democratic board only the board should have power to vote or make decisions. The monitor was in Lakewood for 3 years and the deficit grew so much for that.

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    2. Your right to elect a democratic board was given to you by the state, and now the state took away that right.
      The state, by the way, is a democratically elected government, with a Governor and a Legislature duly elected by the citizens of the state of NJ.
      The democratically elected state govt chose to give you the privelege of voting for your own local school board. Lakewood abused that privelege by running deficits, so the democratically elected state govt is now coming in and helping us.

      Democracy in action.

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    3. anon 12:14
      Nonsense. So long that you have a democratic elected board they have power. If the state abolished the board than you may have an argument. The tax payers are paying for the public school with their own money. They have a say by electing a board.
      Democracy in action.

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    4. Lakewood did not abuse that by running a deficit. The state mandated that Lakewood pay for certain cots for non public school kids ,but the state formula of reimbursing the district is flawed and does not count the large number if students. Based on the way schools are funded in NJ , a district with 30,000 non public school kids is mandated to spend monies on,their kids for transportation and special ed , but doesn't get any funds from the state because the formula dies not include them.Such a district can never have enough money to function.

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  7. If a federal judge can override the president of the united States then what is so hard to understand a monitor overriding an elected board.?

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  8. I empathise with the BOE members, they have no authority, are undermined by the state, and get all the blame.

    I think at this point, the bEST option may be for all Orthodox board members to resign.

    As a community, we get nothing from the School District, yet get all the blame for the states failure.

    If a new board comes in, there is nothing for them to cut from private school, and they wouldn't be able to blame the Orthodox Community any more.

    Maybe I am missing something, but I don't see the downside.

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  9. So lobby your elected officials to change the law. Until,it us changed ,the monitor is the boss.

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  10. The BOE staff make it very difficult for the schools to get those few service's that there students are entitled to. They throw up bureaucratic roadblocks.the BOE are sometimes able to get those things taken care of. If they resigned then the Mosdos wouldn't even get that.

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