Lakota board approves $5.5 million levy request

WEST CHESTER, OH (FOX19) - It could soon cost more to send your child to Lakota schools.

The school board approved a first resolution for a 5-point-5 mill levy to be placed on the November ballot.

This would cost $168 a year on a $100,000 home.

Unlike many levies that ask for money to stave off cuts, this board says the majority of the money will go towards improved technology and tightened security at all of the schools throughout the district.

In the last three years, three school tax hikes in the Lakota school system have been rejected, but the board is at it again. This time, the vast majority of $13.5 million dollars would be invested in a multi-year technology upgrade program something resident Bill Deaton says is essential to the district.

"I've got two grandkids and they're more smart at the computer than I ever thought about being and so the kids need it," Bill Deaton.

The board says upon approval of the levy, more than six million dollars would go towards beefing up security. This includes tripling the number of police officers and sheriff's deputies in schools as well as physical changes to the buildings.

"You never know when you could expect something to happen. If you got more people there, more police officers, it's less likely to happen," Bill Deaton.

In our commitment to balanced news, some say they don't agree with any increase in taxes.

"I don't want to spend any more money on taxes than anyone else," Sheri Frey.

"Nobody wants to hear about higher taxes but then when you think about our kids you can't do enough. If it's the last dollar I had I would give it to the kids," Bill Deaton.

Sheri Frey has kids in the Lakota school system and she says she supports the levy but only if it's fair to everyone.

"I do look for the people that are on the fixed income and how somewhere we can meet in the middle and come to a compromise," Sheri Frey.

Frey adds it is nice to see a levy going towards something other than balancing a budget or involving layoffs.

"It's not about giving our teaches and our administrators raises. It's providing a better education for our kids," Sheri Frey.

The board will take its second and final vote on July 8th to determine if the levy will be on the fall ballot.

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