Lakota to make $9 million in cuts

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - It's been three weeks since the third consecutive levy failed in the Lakota School District. Now the district is back to the drawing board to determine how it plans to make $9 million in cuts.

"I think everything has to be on the table at this point," said Ron Spurlock, Asst. Superintendent of Lakota Schools. "We've already cut $22 million in the last couple years. Any reduction we make from here on out, I think it will negatively impact the classroom."

Earlier this year inside the classroom, the district reduced it's faculty by more than 100 through attrition and not filling dozens of teacher positions. Outside the classroom, the district eliminated bussing for thousands of students.

"We can't provide the same level of service we have in the past," said Spurlock. "So we are concerned about our excellent rating down the road."

First year Superintendent Dr. Karen Mantia explained the next steps the district will take to determine where reductions will be made.

"We'll be looking at cost and evaluating if any of those courses or programs should be on the list," said Dr. Mantia.

No final decisions on cuts have been made, however the district has decided it won't put a levy on the ballot in March. And when the district does give another opportunity to voters to pass a levy, they plan to communicate with voters differently.

"I think the only thing that we need to do a little different job this time is let our community know, if this passes, what does this mean for our school district," said Spurlock. "If it fails, what would be the alternative plan."

The district will also have an opportunity to put a levy on the ballot in June and November of next year.

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