Campaigns for and against Lakota levy gear up - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Campaigns for and against Lakota levy gear up

WEST CHESTER, OH (FOX19) -

After two failed levies in 2010 and $10 million in cuts, voters will head to the polls once again in November to determine the future of the Lakota School District, The school board voted to put a 4.75 mil levy on the ballot, costing the owner of a $100,000 home, about $145 more a year. If the levy passes, it will get Lakota Schools out of deficit spending until at least 2015.

"This time we are taking a bit of a different approach," said Sandy Wheatley, this year's levy committee chair.

It's familiar territory as this year's levy committee kicks off their campaign, Wheatley says this year's campaign will have a different twist.

"Parents were saying, we really see this as, we're going to go backwards, or we're going to go forward, and so that's where that approach came from," Wheatley said.

In addition to the "Let's Move Forward Lakota" slogan that will be featured on new signs, the levy campaign also has a brand new web site.

"They can donate online, they can volunteer online, they can learn the facts online," Wheatley said.

After cuts to busing and increases to pay to play fees, Wheatley says the committee hopes to educate parents on the levy not just as a school district issue, but a community campaign.

"We really feel that it's going to allow people to see this as a community issue," Wheatley said.

On the other side, Rich Hoffman of the "No Lakota Levy" campaign and a Lakota grad himself, says they're also altering their message this year.

"Going forward does not mean spending more money," Hoffman said, "We cut $12 million in spending, we didn't even have a Superintendent a good part of them time, and we went up a whole point."

The No Lakota campaign is pushing for Issue 2 as a long-term solution to Ohio's educational funding system.

"This time we're fighting for the ability to have that solution, we're not going to throw more money at it, we're going to find a way to manage the costs, with our school board managing the costs," Hoffman said.

On October 8 members of the levy committee will hold and event where residents can sign up to receive campaign signs if they wish.

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