Lakota Schools prepare to cut bus service after levy fails

LIBERTY TWP., Ohio - The Lakota Local School Board is considering the first in aseries of major cutbacks, after losing a major tax levy vote almosttwo weeks ago.

The district outlined the plan for the school board Mondaynight.
The first round of potential reductions will come to schoolbus services starting in January.

An administration presentation to school board members estimatesupwards of 9,100 students will lose access to school buses. About5,400 of them will be elementary school students and roughly 3,700high school students will have school bus services stopped. The busreduction figures include both public and private schoolstudents.

Even as the district double checked budget numbers Mondayafternoon, Lakota administrators state certain board members willvote to carry out the previously predicted cuts to school busservices in the district.

This means starting on Jan. 18, 2011 all Lakota High Schoolstudents' school bus services would cease.

If the plan is approved, only elementary school students thatlive at least two miles away from their schools will still have theservice provided. Currently, they only have to live one mile away.

Sub-divisions would most likely be divided as some homes willreceive bus service and others not.



Lakota hopes the schoolbus cutbacks will save the district at least $800,000 for the restof this school year and almost $3 million next year. This is justthe first round of cutbacks that are anticipated as the Tri-State'ssecond largest school district looks to reduce at least $12 millionfrom its budget.



It is not yet determinedhow many bus driver layoffs would happen as a result of the cuts.Transportation officials say those figures have not been workedout, depending on the school board vote. Transportation officialssaid the plan would take between 10 and 15 busses off the road forsavings of $70,000 each.

What is also not known is how many teachers and in-school staffLakota schools will have to let go. Administrators told 9 Newsthey're looking to avoid budget cuts that affect classroominstruction. Lakota has laid off teachers and other staff in thepast when other levy votes failed to pass.

The board did not vote on the proposal Monday night, but thedistrict hopes the plan is approved soon.

The district posted full details about the plan includingfrequently asked questions following the meeting on their website.The site also will allow families to find out if their address iseligible for busing.

Click to read the entire plan from the school district.

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