Big changes in progress at Lakota schools five months since levy passes

Busing, art, gym; more tech and classes added

LIBERTY Twp., Ohio -- Just about five months since voters in the Lakota School District passed a school tax levy after three failed attempts, students and faculty are starting to see some big changes in their schools.

School officials immediately began reinstating items lost from millions of dollars in cuts, after voters passed the $13.5 million levy by a razor thin margin in November.

The levy combined 2.0 mills, or $5 million, for permanent improvements and 3.5 mills, or $8.5 million, for operations.

It’s the first time the district won voter approval for a levy since 2005.

Lakota, which has 17,065 students enrolled this year, had to reduce its annual spending by $20.8 million when voters struck down the first levy in 2010. The eighth-largest school district in the state cut 300 teachers from its staff, eliminated a school period for high school freshmen and sophomores and it reduced daily music, art and physical education classes to one day a week.

It also increased athletic and band participation fees to $500 for each student for each sport, eliminated busing at the high school level and for all students within a two-mile radius of their school.

But with a new stream of revenue, Lakota officials are bringing back many of the services students and teachers lost. And they say they’re on track to add a few more.

WCPO Insiders can read about how the school district is implementing the promised improvements. 

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