LAKEWOOD — A state-appointed monitor ordered that the school district fire 140 teachers after the Board of Education on Monday tried to save their jobs without having the money to do so.

The Asbury Park Press reported that the board voted to retain the 140 teachers, including 39 tenured teachers, despite a $15 million budget shortfall after an emotional meeting that included a number of residents imploring the Board not to make any cuts.

Lakewood is one of 10 districts in the state supervised by a Department of Education fiscal monitor.

The district has been criticized for spending tens of millions on busing and tuition for special-needs students attending private religious schools.

The state-appointed monitor, David Shafter, said that the vote was "irresponsible" because funding for Lakewood's budget was uncertain, according to NJ.com. The board put off a vote on a budget because it's unclear if the state will provide money to the school district.

The crowd at the meeting learned that the cuts would force schools to pack 50 students per classroom.

About 6,200 students attended the seven Lakewood public schools in the 2014-15 school year.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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