LSTA Borrows $2 Million From Lakewood Twp. To Cover Funding Shortfall

The Lakewood Student Transportation Authority (LSTA) is taking out a loan of $2 million from Lakewood Township to help it cover what is expected to be a temporary funding shortfall. The loan is expected to be repaid in early 2024.

The reason for the shortfall is 2,500 additional non-public school students who are expected to use LSTA services in the 2023-2024 school year, resulting in higher expenses for the LSTA.

New Jersey’s new budget allocates funds of $1,165 per student for busing, an increase from the $1,022 per student provided last year. However, the state funding for the additional 2,500 students will not be received by the LSTA until January, resulting in a temporary financial hole.

“The new increased funding, that we are thankful for, only kicks in in January and (student) pickups start in September,” LSTA Director Avraham Krawiec told the Asbury Park Press. “The previous year, our costs increased much more than the state amount.”

This isn’t the first time the LSTA has borrowed funds from Lakewood Township. In 2020, it borrowed $1 million from the township, and fully repaid that loan, according to Mayor Ray Coles.

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