Lakota school levy would add security, technology upgrades

LIBERTY TWP., Ohio - The Lakota school district voted to add a levy to the November ballot. The last initiative to pass was in 2005.

The board of education approved placing the levy on the ballot Monday during a regular board meeting. In June a review into what areas of the district needed the most improvements was made.

The plan presented for the levy called for $13.5 million in technology upgrades over a few years and $6.3 million to upgrade security.

"We can use technology to be more effective and cost-efficient," said Dr. Mantia, Lakota superintendent. "But we need the infrastructure in place to do that, and we've fallen far behind. It's about building a network infrastructure that allows the district to use technology the way it should be used in a large organization."

The spending would include tripling the number of police officers and sheriff's deputies in the schools, as well as physical changes to school buildings.

"Security has always been important," Mantia said. "But unfortunately, with the world we live in now, we need to do even more."

The levy includes 3.5 mills for operating expenses and 2 mills for permanent improvement expenses.

The cost of the levy to a homeowner would be $16 per month on $100,000 of real estate value.

The last time Lakota placed a tax increase on the ballot was in 2011 when it was defeated.

In a release, Randy Oppenheimer, Executive Director of Media and Community Relations for the district, stated Lakota currently spends $20.8 million less per year than it did in 2010.

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