NJ Enabling Irresponsible Budget from Wholly Unreliable Lakewood School District and its Overpriced Attorney

Lakewood schools reopen, banking on $36 million loan from NJ

LAKEWOOD – A shutdown that forced about 1,000 special education students to stay home Monday has ended and the Lakewood Public School District is open for business on the promise of a $36 million loan from the state.

The district was shuttered for a single day after the school board reversed course, unanimously voting to void a budget it had passed a week earlier to avert a shutdown. Without a budget, no money could be spent, according to school board attorney Michael Inzelbuch.

Inzelbuch blamed the shutdown on the state, but critics of the district are pushing back calling the closure a stunt.

Gov. Phil Murphy had slated an additional $30 million to go to Lakewood, but when the Legislature drafted its budget it axed the funding. District leadership refused to sign off on the $171 million budget without knowing where that $30 million would come from, saying it was necessary to provide a thorough education and balance the books.

But even without the $30 million, the district receives other revenue that it could have used to keep doors open Monday, according to David Sciarra, executive director of the Education Law Center. Among those other sources are $102 million in local tax levy and tens of millions in other state aid, according to the district’s budget.

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Lakewood, NJ – the financial Pillaging of a Bucolic Little Town’s School District Using the Ultra-Orthodox Yeshiva Handbook

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Lakewood schools to close? Parents told to make ‘alternate plans’

Above: What can be done to improve relations between Orthodox and non-Orthodox communities?

LAKEWOOD — The township’s public schools may close Monday as a result of the financial pressures facing the district, where officials say money will run out before the end of the next school year.

Administrators said on the district website that parents should make “alternate plans” for their children. School leaders called it a “precautionary measure” due to the “unknown fiscal situation.” 

Last week, the Lakewood school board approved a 2019-20 budget that the district doesn’t have the money to fund. Its lawyer and several administrators also went to court Wednesday to plea for help, saying the district cannot afford to keep schools open beyond March.

Special education and transportation account for about 40 percent of the public schools’ expenses. The district enrolls about 6,000 students, but also is responsible for costs of transportation and certain services for Lakewood’s more than 30,000 private school children.

Administrators have sought Trenton’s help in closing the school district’s growing budget holes, using combinations of grants and loans.

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Lakewood, NJ Pool Segregation Rules Adjudicated Unlawful by 3rd Cir. Judge

Correction: The initial title of this article read “2nd Cir.” It should have read 3rd Cir. Thanks to the person who caught the mistake.  Corrected 24.4.19

Judges rule sex-segregated pool schedule unlawful at condo in Lakewood, NJ

While they stopped short of ruling that any gender-segregated pool is unlawful, one of them expressed “vehement disapproval of segregation” over the “separate, but equal” policies.

Swimming pool. Credit: Max Pixel.

Swimming pool. Credit: Max Pixel.

 The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit found on Monday that a condominium’s sex-segregated pool time policy in the heavily dominated New Jersey neighborhood of Lakewood discriminated against women.

The court ruled for a group of owners who sued after each were fined $50 by their condominium association for violating the rules of A Country Place Condominium Association about the pool that includes separate swimming times for men and women in accordance with strict modesty standards upheld by Orthodox Jews, who consist of two-thirds of the association’s residents during of the 2016 lawsuit.

The judges said the policy violated the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and the federal Fair Housing Act, which “makes it an unlawful housing practice to “discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities therewith, because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status or national origin.

The judges said “inequitable features” in the swimming schedule was unlawful in that on weeknights, women were allotted 3.5 hours of pool time after 5 p.m., while the men had 16.5 hours. Only 25 hours were allocated for people of all sexes.

Judge Thomas Ambro ruled that “women with regular-hour jobs thus have little access to the pool during the work week, and the schedule appears to reflect particular assumptions about the roles of men and women.”

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Lakewood, New Jersey – Gate Unlocked for Sabbath Observant Jews, Settlement

Lakewood community unlocks gate for Orthodox Jews after Sabbath complaint

LAKEWOOD – An Orthodox Jewish man has struck a deal with his homeowners’ association to unlock a pedestrian gate key to Jewish observances at the 55-and-over community in Lakewood, ending a dispute that served as another cultural flash point in the fast-growing township.

Nathan Reiss filed a state discrimination complaint in December 2017 claiming The Enclave’s pedestrian gate prevented him from walking to a synagogue because the gate required the use of an electronic key card. During the Sabbath, those observing the Orthodox Jewish faith are forbidden from driving or using electricity.

More:Lakewood seniors ‘get out of Dodge’ as Orthodox Jewish home buyers move in

Tuesday, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office announced a deal between Reiss and The Enclave, in which the gate would be unlocked during Sabbath hours and on Jewish holidays.

“This settlement should serve as a reminder to housing associations, condo associations and co-ops across New Jersey that being sensitive to the religious beliefs and observances of their residents is not only the right thing to do, it is the law,” Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a statement.

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Murphy’s Law in New Jersey – Lakewood Getting Unexplained $15M While 200 Other Districts Get Funding Slashed…

N.J. wants to send extra $15M to Lakewood for private schoolers. Why didn’t it tell anyone?

When Gov. Phil Murphy proposed his 2020 budget last week it revealed Lakewood School District would get a massive 63 percent hike in state funding, by far the largest of any district in the state.

But what state officials didn’t make clear is that the additional $14.9 million proposed for Lakewood is special treatment for the controversial district that isn’t called for in the state’s school funding formula.

An NJ Advance Media analysis of state data found Murphy’s administration wants to give Lakewood more money than the district technically qualifies for, while slashing funding to nearly 200 other districts. The state pumped extra money into Lakewood’s preliminary funding for special education and transportation without increasing that aid for most other districts. And it proposed giving millions in new taxpayer money to a district long criticized for enormous public costs tied to private school students, primarily in Jewish yeshivas.

As much as the extra money might be necessary in cash-starved Lakewood, which has relied on state loans to buoy its local school budget, the way Murphy’s administration quietly added it to the state’s budget raised concerns.

“The (state) really needs to explain publicly what’s going on here,” said David Sciarra, executive director of the Education Law Center, a nonprofit that closely monitors school funding. “I would hope that the Legislature examines this in detail and gets answers.”

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Another Case of Money Laundering and Fraud – Lakewood, NJ and School For Handicapped Children

Corruption Of Public Resources And Money Laundering By The Founder Of A School For Handicapped Children?

It is not surprising that such corruption exists and that money laundering is prevalent throughout the United States.

However it is amazing that such cases appear with frequency in communities that place great emphasis on religious studies and trying to understand God’s will for their lives.

In these same New Jersey communities we also have had numerous cases of welfare fraud.

For some amazing reason those responsible will not be required to repay 100% of what they stole as recent reports such as this one from the Asbury Park Press indicates ….

https://www.app.com/…/medicaid-fraud-lakewood-n…/1679615002/

Which raises a question as to why the public is expected to pay for that which was stolen from them and is there no longer equal justice for all and special justice for none?

The defense in this latest trial has now started. We await with interest to hear the case presented by the defense.