Lakewood parents protest cuts to kindergarten, after-school activities to fund private school busing

Organizers of a rally in the streets of

Organizers of a rally in the streets of Lakewood say they object to the use of tax money to bus students to private schools. (Credit: News 12 New Jersey)

LAKEWOOD - Organizers of a rally in the streets of Lakewood say they object to the use of tax money to bus students to private schools.

More than 200 protesters at Lakewood Town Square said the school district plans to make cuts to many programs, including kindergarten, in order to keep providing buses for private school students.

They insist that will hurt public school students by taking away programs many of them depend on.

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The Lakewood community includes a large Jewish population, and many question whether potential cuts are based on Hasidic or Orthodox law guiding public school policy.

Demonstrators say Lakewood schools will cut programs Orthodox students don't use, in favor of making sure those students are bused to private school.

Sheila Hernandez says some students don't have much to do at home. "They go after school and they enjoy themselves," she says. "I don't think it's right to have it taken away from us."

The township board of education is going to ask voters to decide on whether they should approve more spending and higher taxes to continue the multimillion-dollar busing program.

The superintendent's office has not returned News 12's request for comment.

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