Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Lakota listens after levy loss

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

LIBERTY TWP. - Before deciding when to go back to voters for additional dollars, Lakota educators want to listen to district residents.

They may ask for help from residents who are in marketing and have offered to conduct a survey. That would be in addition to face-to-face contacts, e-mails, phone calls and perhaps community forums.

Those ideas and more were discussed by board members Monday - the first meeting since voters rejected a levy last week that would have provided $20 million for day-to-day operations and $84.9 million for new schools and expansions and renovations of existing ones. It would have cost the owner of $150,000 home an additional $536.

Voters "made it pretty clear that was too much,'' said Allen Baxter of West Chester. "That's an awfully big chunk.''

"Great school districts are partners,'' said Superintendent Kathleen Klink. "It's time for us to listen, to understand, to share ideas.''

Board President Joan Powell said the board needs time to determine when it will put another issue on the ballot and whether it would be the same issue or modified. The deadline for putting an issue on the Aug. 3 special election is May 20.

The topic may come up Saturday at an 8 a.m. work session at Lakota's administrative offices, 5572 Princeton Road, Klink said.

While those discussions are taking place, West Chester Township resident Jamie Green is putting together a group to look at school funding issues on a regional or statewide basis.

"We're just in the beginning stages," said Green, who chaired the Committee for Lakota's Future levy campaign group.

"I envision this group could reach out to districts all across Ohio. It's not just about what's best for Lakota but what's best for all of us.''

A key issue, Green said, is building inflationary growth into local funding so districts don't have to go back to voters so often.

Meanwhile, the district will move ahead with cutting nearly $7 million from the upcoming school year budget, which will mean an increase in class size.

Educators are bracing for as many as 500 new students by the start of school.

For information on the school-funding group, go to or call 403-1524.


Drug firms defrauded Medicaid, state says
Education board snubs scientists
Truck ban seen as no panacea
Cinergy, Feds head for trial
Students get new evidence

Policeman: I said 'doper'
Protest revises some bus route changes
White powder found at courthouse
Deerfield retail growth hits a snag
Juvenile offenders could win goodies
Miami dampens Green Beer Day
Lakota listens after levy loss
One deal, two benefits
Mariemont concerns delay sewer work again
Festival wins new support
Youths find joy in helping
Public safety briefs
Teacher contract talks continue
Infection death award $4.1M
Center provides growing group with own classes

Why did primary ads run against unopposed rep?
Korte: Yates found real change in Schott
Crowley: Only Republican candidate names campaign team
Partnership gets national publicity

Joe Colonel, 91, worked for P&G and helped at fires
Sr. Carol Diemunsch built funding network

July 12 court martial set in grenade attack
N. Ky. news briefs
From horse stable to estate
Dept. sets budget
News Briefs
Sex-business law advancing