HAMILTON, Ohio -- The fourth time appeared to be the charm for the Lakota School District levy Tuesday.
By a razor thin margin, voters passed the levy after three previous unsuccessful attempts. The levy passed by just 241 votes, but it does not include 211 provisional ballots cast by voters in the school district. Those votes will likely even further narrow the margin and as such will most likely trigger a recount, county election officials said.
There were 13,488 votes in favor of the levy and 13,247 voted against it. The results are unofficial.
Lakota schools make up the second largest district in the Tri-State. The levy failed three times over the past four years, but the district continued to push for it's passing. In an effort to get the levy approved, Lakota Schools have lowered their annual spending to $20.8 million since 2010.
The proposal combined 2.0 mills, or $5 million, for permanent improvements and 3.5 mills, or $8.5 million, for operations. It will cost each taxpayer an additional $192 annually per $100,000 value of their home.
The fourth push for the levy started back in September, shortly after students headed into a new school year. Supporters wore t-shirts with "We Are Lakota" printed on the front.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for Lakota to grow,” said Superintendent Dr. Karen Mantia. “It’s new programs, to modernize and get our technologies up. We’re so excited and we’re so thankful to our community.”
Chairwoman of the Lakota levy campaign Libby Willms said with the drop in spending, students in the district were impacted, and it showed.
“The cuts are really starting to affect our kids, not just in participation but also in their education. This levy kind of gets us back on solid ground with being competitive—not by bringing everything back, but by looking forward,” she said.
For a long-time educator, passing the levy was a no-brainer.
Guidance counselor Rhonda Eisenhard said, "I think it's important for us older folks to make sure that our kids get the same quality education."
“It gives us tons of stability that we can move on,” said teacher John Severns. “We’re not worried about what we’re going to cut next and worry about educating kids.”
Residents in the area were on the other side too, fearful the levy would go to teachers' salaries rather than benefits for school kids.
Willms said teachers carry out a service to kids, and with any service industry, a bulk of a budget has to go towards paying workers.
“They really stepped up,” said Treasurer Jenni Logan. “They say that the investment in what we were offering was worth it and we are just thrilled.”
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
The Kenton County clerk, who comes from a long line of policy-changers and milk farmers, was recently honored for making a difference in…
Political Cocktail's podcast version will alternate on Mondays with the video version of the show. Listen to local political news and…
Ohio Attorney Mike DeWine rejected a summary for a ballot issue to create a “voter bill of rights,” stating it wasn't…
More than 850 candidates have filed with the state or their county clerk’s office for the more than 300 offices on the ballot this year…
WCPO's Northern Kentucky reporter Jessica Noll asks US Senate contender and Secretary of State, Alison Lundergan Grimes, what issues…
Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor thinks changes would lessen voter apathy and may improve quality of judges.
Parents and staff in the Fairfield School District could learn Wednesday whether or not a levy floated in November passed or not.
Cincinnati's charter requires the mayor and City Council to take their oaths of office at 11 a.m. Dec. 1 -- which is a Sunday this year.
Butler County elections officials say the $13.8 million school tax levy, which unofficially passed by a razor thin margin on Nov. 5, has…
A day after Cincinnati voters elected a mayor and a City Council majority opposed to the streetcar, more battles are brewing over the project.