Lakewood schools shut down without $30M aid — required services only
LAKEWOOD — The school district shut down most operations Monday after Gov. Phil Murphy signed a budget without $30 million school officials were counting on — saying they couldn't operate the district until a solution is found.
In an emergency meeting Monday, the district authorized funding for "only those programs mandated by the New Jersey Department of Education and required for health and safety until such time a budget is approved."
Note: This story has been updated following the emergency board meeting. An earlier version discussed the situation as it stood before the board meeting, when all services were canceled.
The board also voted to continue its support of the Lakewood School Transportation Authority and to ensure that courtesy busing continue for public and non-public students. The LSTA had ceased to exist at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday with the lack of a budget. Those services weren't provided on Monday, after the district warned parents depending on them to make other plans.
The board also approved continued funding for services for non-public students and those attending "schools for the disabled," required by the superintendent and state monitor. That also includes security and access to trips, playground equipment, home instruction.
The board passed several resolutions including one that puts all non-essential staff on furlough until further notice.
Gov. Phil Murphy signed the 2020 budget on Sunday, put together by the state legislature, that did not include $30 million worth of funding the governor's initial proposed budget had earmarked for Lakewood schools.
As a result, the district's own budget could not be certified since it depended on funds the township doesn't have, board of education general counsel Michael I. Inzelbuch said during the emergency board of education meeting.
Inzelbuch during the meeting did not disclose how many students were affected by the closing of the district. A call to Kevin Campbell, district assistant business administrator, was not immediately returned.
Regular classes are on summer break in Lakewood.
More from New Jersey 101.5: