TOMS RIVER — The township's regional school district expects to pay $1.1 million to transport students to private schools, a more than six-fold increase over recent years, the Asbury Park Press reported.

Public school districts are required to provide transportation services to students in their communities that attend private schools. If busing cannot be provided, the district can pay families a $1,000 stipend.

Toms River has more than 15,000 students. It has a transportation expense of more than $14.6 million in a budget of about $242.3 million.

The Asbury Park Press reported that Toms River has seen an influx of Orthodox Jewish families, who often place their children in private or special-needs schools.

In neighboring Lakewood, the district spends millions on transportation and costs related to private school students, who number 32,000.

Property owners who send their children to private schools continue to pay school taxes.

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