Lakota School Board hears budget reduction proposal

By Cory Stark – bio |email |twitter | Facebook

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - The details of the district's "budget reduction plan" were first introduced to the public last week, but Monday night was the first time the school board listened the proposal.

It was a standing room only crowd at the Lakota school board meeting. Most people in attendance are concerned about the direction the district is headed.

"For lack of a better term, a downward spiral and something has to be done," said Kelly Casper, parent.

Many parents at the meeting are concerned that the district's budget reduction plan includes cutting 128 teachers. Thirteen of those teachers are elementary reading specialists.

"I don't have an elementary student but I care enough about the school district and the community to know that can be a bad thing," said Casper

Cuts in teachers means less opportunities for students, mostly in elective classes. A concern for school board president Joan Powell.

"Some reductions may be necessary, but does it have to be as drastic," said Joan Powell, school board president.

Moving forward, school board members will review the nearly $12.2 million reduction plan at length and have a lot to consider.

"They need to think about the levy and what kind of milage will we be asking," said Ron Spurlock, interim superintendent. "They need to be thinking about state reductions. We are hearing from the state we could have between a 10 and 30 percent reduction next year."

Many parents hope the school board votes on the reduction plan sooner, rather than later.

"We need to have an end to it and a decision made so we can move on and prepare the best we can for the upcoming year," said Casper.

There is no definite timeline to when the school board will vote on the plan, but Interim Superintendent Ron Spurlock hopes something will be decided by mid-March.