Lakewood Teachers Have 67 Questions For Lakewood Officials Determined to Reopen Schools Full-Time In-Person

The Lakewood Education Association, which represents all Lakewood teachers, paraprofessionals, and other staff, is hitting back against the district’s/attorney Michael Inzelbuch’s insistence on reopening schools full-time in-person. Last weekend Inzelbuch sent this letter to the union leaders. The union’s response? Sixty-seven questions, reproduced below. More generally, Dawn Hiltner, spokesperson for the Lakewood Education Association, told 101.5, Let’s say we get everybody back and then in three weeks we wind up having to shut everything down …

Inzelbuch’s Letter to Union Leaders Says Lakewood Isn’t Risking Covid Contagion With Full-Time In-Person Schools

Below is a letter, dated yesterday, from Lakewood attorney Michael Inzelbuch to the leaders of the Lakewood Education Association, Kimberlee Shaw and Tracy Paolantonio. Lakewood Public Schools, Inzelbuch informs the union officers, “is committed to provide full-time in person education for the 2020-2021 school year” and asks for a meeting to discuss a mandatory COVID testing plan for staff members. For context, Lakewood, distinguishing itself from other New Jersey school districts, held in-person Extended School Year programs …

Lakewood Follies: Inzelbuch Lawyers Up (At District Expense)

The agenda for Wednesday evening’s Lakewood Board of Education meeting included two items, both involving BOE attorney Michael Inzelbuch, well-known for his $750,000 annual salary and complete dominance over district matters. These agenda items may be clues to his and the Board’s concerns over pending litigation that alleges the districts retaliated against an employee who was, in effect, a whistleblower. It’s not that complicated. Here are agenda items 38 and 39 (page 3): 38. The …

Musical Chairs at Lakewood Public Schools

Last year the Lakewood Board of Education appointed a new principal and assistant principal for Lakewood High School. Last Wednesday the Board did it again, setting a pattern for what appears to be a practice of promoting instability and community distress as these new moves mean that Lakewood High School students will have had three principals and assistant principals in one year. Last August the Board transferred Principal Marcy Marshall and Vice Principal Douglas Riley …

Betsy DeVos Leaves Low-Income Students Behind: Example, Lakewood

In 1997 Michael Kinsley wrote, “the scandal isn’t the illegal behavior–the scandal is what’s legal.” He was referring to allegations about fund-raising corruption in the Clinton Administration but he might have been writing about Lakewood Public Schools, at least under the federal oversight of Trump’s Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos. Why? (And why do I write about Lakewood so much?) Because this Ocean County district is an emblem of how inequity permeates New Jersey’s educational infrastructure …

A Conversation With Lakewood Attorney Michael Inzelbuch

On June 12th Governor Phil Murphy announced that school districts could start providing in-person summer programming for students with disabilities — called Extended School Year, or ESY — on July 6th. But two days earlier Lakewood Public Schools (LPS) announced that it will begin ESY on July 1st. What’s up with that? I decided to ask Michael Inzelbuch (who serves as board attorney as well as de facto superintendent and school board president so maybe his …

Leaked Email from Lakewood: School’s Open!

Governor Phil Murphy has yet to announce plans for school reopenings. Regarding summer services for students with disabilities, known as “Extended School Year” or ESY, Murphy’s Office said on May 4th, “[t]he Administration will create a steering committee consisting of a diverse group of stakeholders in the education community to explore summer learning opportunities for all students, including school-sponsored summer programming and Extended School Year for students with disabilities.” This steering committee has yet to …

Michael Inzelbuch Responds to NJEA’s Charges That Lakewood Is Violating Social-Distancing Orders.

Earlier this week I published a letter from a law firm representing NJEA, sent to Lakewood Public Schools Superintendent Laura Winters and cc’d to the president of the local union, the president of the Lakewood School Board (Moshe Bender), and Michael Inzelbuch, attorney for Lakewood Public Schools district. The letter demands, in reference to the one-on-one evaluations currently underway in the district for students with disabilities, that Lakewood “cease and desist its blatant violation of  …

Breaking News: NJEA Lawyers Demand Lakewood Schools Stop Violating State Social Distancing Orders

Last week the law firm Selikoff & Cohen sent a seven-page letter on behalf of NJEA and the union’s local Lakewood arm to Superintendent Laura Winters demanding that the district “cease and desist its blatant violation of  violation of Executive Orders 104 and 107 and the guidance issued by the New Jersey Department of Education on school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic.” The letter is cc’d to the president of the local union, the president …

Tonight the Lakewood School Board Will Approve A Budget It Can’t Pay For.

Later today at its public meeting the Lakewood Board of Education will approve a budget of $204 million that assumes the state will kick in a loan of $60 million. In addition, the Board will request that Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet defer the repayment of prior year DOE loans. The Board will also approve attorney Michael Inzelbuch’s annual compensation of $750,000. A few notes: If the State approves the $60 million loan, Lakewood’s unpaid annual …