Lakewood Tsuris

As the Asbury Park Press puts it, there’s good news and bad news for Lakewood Public Schools. The good news: administrators found the missing 760 iPads that had been paid for to a tune of $468,485 by Title I funds, which are federal grants intended for poor students. The bad news is that the district never filled out the proper paperwork for the grant and will have to pay the money back.

Also in the bad news column: Rev. Glen Wilson, who runs UNITE Lakewood, the group comprised of minority parents who resent the district’s pandering to the Orthodox Jewish lobby, told the Press that the Title I investigation which uncovered the lack of paperwork and the lost iPads also determined that “Lakewood inflated its enrollment numbers during the 2011-12 school year, collecting $2.4 million more in state funds than it should have.” Then there’s that $11 million budget deficit, special education chaos, and transportation blues. Not to mention the low achievement of children consigned to a district that uses 20% of its budget to transport 20,000 non-public students to Lakewood yeshivas.

Recent coverage here and here. Lakewood already has a Fiscal Monitor appointed by the state. Maybe it’s time for an ethics monitor.