Lakewood, NJ – Lakewood Township officials concede they aren’t prepared for the chaos looming later this month when some 10,000 schoolchildren lose their busing, reports Shannon Mullen for the Asbury Park Press.
“We have no plan,” Township Committeeman Meir Lichtenstein told hundreds of concerned Latino parents who packed Town Hall last night. “It’s impossible.”
The school district has mailed letters home informing parents that busing will end effective Februay 26. For the township’s governing body, the busing crisis hits close to home. Three of Lichtenstein’s children will be among those affected, as will seven of Mayor Menashe Miller’s children.
“It is absolutely unacceptable,” Lichtenstein said.
Earlier this week, the school district posted safety videos and other materials for parents whose children will be walking to school, Mullen reports, adding that the Board of Education will hold a special meeting Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the high school commons to discuss the busing crisis.
The bussing tumult comes after voters overwhelmingly turned down a last-ditch $6.2 million tax levy that would have kept the buses rolling through the end of the current school year. Nearly 99 percent of referendum voters rejected the proposal.
As a result, nearly 10,000 children in grades K to 12 will have to walk or be driven to and from school, Mullen reports.