Local school districts discuss possibility of levies

Several Tri-State school districts held meetings Monday night to discuss putting levies on the November ballot.

Cincinnati Public, Northwest Local, Lakota Local and Forest Hills all held meetings on Monday.

Cincinnati Public's school board passed a temporary budget on Monday. Only four board members were present at the meeting, so another vote will be made later.

School leaders unveiled the plan for the upcoming school year last week, and it does not include any more job cuts, but could put a levy on the November ballot. The board has until late July or the beginning of August to decide whether or not to place a levy on the ballot.

At Lakota's meeting, there was some preliminary discussion about a possible levy, with most of the discussion coming from the district's treasurer saying the district can't afford another failed levy.

Treasurer Jenni Logan says when the levy failed last November, the district's credit score took a hit.

"Our outlook was moved to negative instead of positive," she said.

Logan says the district's $10 million reduction plan approved months ago will benefit taxpayers.

"These things that we have recently done, are going to help in lessening the amount we are going to need in the future in that next request from our voters," she said.

District officials have been on record to say passing the next levy is vital for the district's ability to provide an excellent education. There are others, including State Sen. Bill Coley, who hope the district will look at other options rather than raising taxes.

"It's just a reallocation of funds that are currently in place, we currently spend over $200 per student on books in the state of Ohio, given the digital age that we live in, you have to ask yourself why do we spend a dollar on books anymore?" said Coley.

At Northwest, the district could cut up to 51 positions for the 2011-12 school year if a levy is not passed.

The Forest Hills board met Monday night as well, but didn't make any decisions.

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