Regarding an Aug. 23 article “Toms River Regional will pay $850K for parents to transport kids to Lakewood religious schools,” there is a crucial point that has been ignored. By sending children to private schools, Toms River residents are actually saving over $15,000 in tax money per child, totaling $13,233,650 for 850 students.
As all Toms River homeowners pay their share of property taxes, private school parents are contributing equally to the public school coffers to that of their neighbors who educate their children by sending them to public school. According to state statistics, Toms River Regional last year spent $16,659 per public-school student. The district is only required to pay $1,000 for transportation services to those attending a private school, which is $15,569 less than the district is paying for Toms River public school students.
For those who question the legalities of using taxpayer money for transportation to religious schools, the question was proven constitutional in a 1947 U.S. Supreme Court case. It was ruled that since taxpayer money for transportation to private schools goes to the parents, regardless of religion, and not to the religious institution itself, there is nothing illegal about reimbursing parents for transportation costs.
Towns with growing numbers of private school students should embrace the savings. I doubt anyone would suggest that any particular community should be prevented from attending the school of their choice, whether public or private. Parents who send their children to private schools, despite their rights to a full public school education, and despite the fact that they are contributing to the costs of public schools with their tax dollars, willingly choose to shoulder the burden of their child’s education at their own expense. By doing so, they save the district and all its taxpayers a tremendous amount of money. Residents of these towns should be grateful to the private school parents.
Director, N.J. office of Agudath Israel of America
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)
Very very good point Mr Schnall. But I’m not sure what value this message has on Yeshiva World News however. You’re preaching to the choir here.
He didn’t make it available only to ywn. Besides we need to know how to answer the mamzeirim yemach sh’mom loosers out there who use any opportunity to rip Jews.
While I agree with that to a degree. Union workers would have more jobs etc…
However there is a formula for state aid based on a ratio of private school to public school students. If they were going to public school the district would additionally get more state funding.
Excellent point by Aguda. Note there is no condition that the Lakewood schools have any kind of secular education. In fact most Lakewood high schools have ZERO secular studies. It is the choice of the parents and results in a big savings to the general population Why doesn’t the Aguda make the same point in NYC. Why do we have to lie in New York about the secular education in our schools so we don’t lose state aid. It should be the choice of parents. If the city and state withhold funds we’ll send our kids to public schools and it will cost taxpayers hundreds of million dollars more.