District Lawyer’s Salary of $700K Is the Only Thing That’s Not ‘Thorough and Efficient’ in Lakewood

New Jersey Education Report:

Judge Scarola suggested that NJ’s Commissioner do a needs assessment. Allen-McMillancomplied and ruled that the district has shortcomings (here’s the latest on student outcomes) but Lakewood is fulfilling its constitutional duties to public school students and there is no need for any change in the state school funding formula, despite Lakewood’s need to “borrow” millions of dollars from the state every year. (Current debt is over $100 million. Lakewood will never pay this “loan” back.)
District officials, especially attorney Michael Inzelbuch, whom the district pays over $700,000 a year, more than any school district anywhere in the known universe, want the state to say that Lakewood in-district students are just fine, thank you very much, but the school funding formula is inapplicable to Lakewood because of its unusual demographics. The district filed a lawsuit in 2019; that suit was dismissed for lack of merit.
David Sciarra, Executive Director of Education Law Center, is critical of Judge Scarola’s ruling, and, presumably, Allen-McMillan’s as well. He cites as evidence “the lavish and unprecedented payments to the district’s lawyer in recent years” and says the New Jersey Commissioner is ultimately responsible for not demanding changes to the way Lakewood privileges ultra-Orthodox students.