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The Lakota Levy Fight
LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio (Larry Davis) -- After three straight levy defeats, administrators in one local school district hope voters are in a more giving mood.
The Lakota School District ballot issue asks voters to approve a five and a half mill levy. It would restore some, but not all, of the budget cuts that have been made in recent years. Local 12 News reporter Larry Davis has a look at the case for and against the levy.
It has been two years since Lakota last put a school tax levy on the ballot. School officials have spent that time listening to voters. Now they hope this will help turn the tide and end a three levy losing streak.
The familiar campaign signs are back. Residents in the Lakota school district have grown accustomed to seeing the signs for and against school tax levies. Voters have not been in a giving mood in recent years but supporters hope there's a change in attitude after a two year break.
Three levy defeats resulted in 20 million dollars in budget cuts. The combined levy would generate 13 million dollars in revenue.
Do the math and that means not all the cuts will be restored should the levy pass. But it would allow the district to make educational improvements in areas such as technology.
No Lakota is the group opposing the school levy. No one from the organization was available to speak on camera but No Lakota treasurer, Dan Varney, told Local 12 news that higher taxes aren't necessary.
He says, The district has new revenue streams and that, combined with a loss of enrollment, should give Lakota adequate means to balance the budget.
Varney also says the district is trying to manipulate voters by promising increased security and restoring some of the busing cuts. After three straight levy defeats supporters knew it would be tough to launch another campaign but they say this is a critical time for the district.
Lakota School Administrators say should the levy pass; the district would boost school security by hiring seven new resource officers. In addition, busing would be restored to some elementary students.
Lakota last had a levy approved in 2005.
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