Jackson To Bus More Nonpublic Students In Upcoming School Year

(Photo by Quinn Peacock)

JACKSON – The Jackson School District has included 218 more nonpublic school students onto bus routes, potentially saving money, officials said.

The law requires every district to find busing for non-public students. If they can’t, then they have to pay the parents $1,000 aid in lieu of transportation.

So, every year, Jackson tries to work on how to incorporate the non-public students into the public busing schedule, business administrator Michelle Richardson said.

“It’s cheaper for us to run a route rather than pay $1,000 per student,” she said. Paying the aid is the last option after trying to do it in-house, or sharing services with another district.

Since the routes weren’t finalized with the staff, she was unable to estimate how much each route cost, but they will be less expensive than $1,000 a year per child.

For the 2018-2019 school year, the district was able to find routes for 218 students. They had been looking for ways to bring them on since the population of students attending nonpublic schools in Lakewood has been increasing over the last few years.

Although some Jackson residents are concerned about the changing demographics of the town, Richardson explained that the law is the same for all nonpublic school students, whether they attend an Orthodox Jewish school in Lakewood or Donovan Catholic in Toms River.