Jackson Mayor, Councilmembers Endorse Busing Partnership With LSTA

The Jackson Township School Board voted on a resolution to enter into an agreement with the Lakewood Students Transportation Authority under a new agreement.  Currently, the Jackson School District, as required by state law gives private school families the state mandated minimum amount. That public to private agreement, according to township officials has caused havoc on the roadways as private school families then contracted with independent transportation companies to bring their children to private schools.

By state law, all New Jersey municipalities must provide transportation to private school students.  Jackson is not unique in this mandate.

While efforts by Jackson officials and school board members to challenge the state funding under this mandate have fallen upon deaf ears in Trenton, Council President Jennifer Kuhn said contracting with the LTSA is better than the school district writing checks to families and will reduce the amount of buses and school transportation vehicles on township roads.

“There’s a lot going on every morning and afternoon on our roads,” Kuhn said. “This change will remove the school district from the administrative overhead required to cut checks to thousands of families for transportation.  Under the consolidation, the LTSA which already manages routes for 50,000 students each day will absorb the administrative overhead and work to streamline routes and consolidate bus routes to lessen the number of buses on our roads.”

Mayor Reina who has spent years working on busing solutions for all of Jackson’s students welcomed the agreement and pointed out the safety advantages of this agreement. ” Having one main point of contact for our Police, D.P.W. and administration when need be, is going to give Jackson township a better say in the safety of our township “.

Councilman Mordechai Burnstein said the decision is a win-win for families and the township, but would like to see Trenton start paying more for the school bus mandate as the Lakewood and Jackson situation is a unique issue that doesn’t affect other communities in New Jersey.

“We have been calling for the state to start providing transportation aid as this service is another unfunded state mandate that burdens everyone in town,” Burnstein said. “Transportation costs are skyrocketing because we have to abide by the state regulations, but if they are making us do this, they need to chip in more on the financial costs like they do in other parts of the state to accommodate unique educational situations.”

Under New Jersey state law. In accordance with state law, N.J.S.A. 18A:39-1, all public elementary school students (grades K-8) who live more than two miles from their school and all public secondary school students (grades 9-12) who live more than two-and-a-half miles from their school are entitled to transportation.

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1 COMMENT

  1. How is this a win win??
    Anyone who has had dealings with the LSTA knows it was set up as a cash grab and is absolutely horrible to deal with.

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