Today’s story on Lakewood Public Schools in the Asbury Park Press concerns a blind and deaf minority student with serious developmental delays named Sha’Quan Peace-Doldren. Sheldon T. Boxer, former Lakewood principal of Oak Street Elementary School says that he lied to Sha’Quan’s parents to keep Sha’Quan in-district with inadequate services because “he was afraid he’d lose his job if he didn’t keep a lid on special education expenditures.” In particular, he was afraid he’d “run afoul of Michael I. Inzelbuch, Lakewood’s longtime school board attorney who is also employed as the district’s non public special-education coordinator at a salary of $122,655 per year.”
In related news, on Monday night the newly-reorganized Lakewood Board of Education replaced Inzelbuch, although he’ll continue to receive his coordinator’s salary til the end of June. In addition to that salary, he has also been paid $250/hour to serve as the “district’s spokesman,” a job typically held by the school board president (at no cost).
The Asbury Park Press piece describes how Sha’quan’s parents visited several out-of-district placements, including the School for Children with Hidden Intelligence. Lakewood Public Schools spends about $12 million per year to send 130 kids there, all of them from the Orthodox Jewish community. (These costs don’t include transportation; Lakewood reimburses each family $74 per day to transport their children to SCHI.) From the article:
Peace said the administrator who led her on a tour of the school was very gracious but told her that SCHI wouldn’t have been a good fit for Sha’Quan because there were no other deaf-blind students being taught there.
Here’s my earlier coverage of SCHI.