Eve of Lakota levy vote - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Eve of Lakota levy vote

By Tiffany Teasley – bio | email

WEST CHESTER, OH (FOX19 NEWS) - A big vote for the Lakota school district tomorrow as they ask voters to approve a 6.9  mill incremental levy on the ballot --the signs are out, now the district is waiting for the votes to come in.

"We've been putting out signs, we've been sending out emails, we had three forums last week,"said Cheryl Conaway-Nelson of the Lakota levy committee.
 
Nelson, also a parent in the district, says the combination of state cutbacks and unfunded  state mandates along with a growing population have put the district in a crunch that can't be fixed without the community's help.
 
"With all the changes and the cuts that the state of Ohio is bringing on school districts, it's had a very negative impact on Lakota's budget,"Conaway-Nelson said.
 
"That's their problem not ours, " said Liberty Township resident Graeme George.
 
George says as a senior citizen who already receives less Social Security, he shouldn't have to carry the district's burden on his back.
 
"Too much is too much and I'm opposed to it," George said.
 
 Once the levy is completely phased in, someone living in an average home valued at about $213,000 will pay $770 per year, the districts has already laid off staff and cut programs but opponents say there's more that can be done.
 
"They haven't talked about salary freezes, salary cuts, and 78 percent of their budget goes to benefits and salaries," said Mark Sennet, who is against the levy.
 
The levy would generate about $103 million a year over four years.

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