Thursday, October 26, 2000

Lakota may cut staff if levy fails

Plans discussed with board

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        WEST CHESTER TWP. — If the Lakota school board decided to eliminate all its elementary school assistant principals, its guidance counselors, nurses and special teachers for math and science, spending still would exceed revenue.

        No one in this growing district of 15,154 pupils is suggesting that, but those areas — and more — would be under scrutiny if voters on Nov. 7 turn down a 6.74-mill combination levy that would provide $8.3 million annually for operations, and money to build two more schools.

        “Our savings account is gone,” Treasurer Alan Hutchinson said. “The hardest part for the board will be deciding how deep the cuts will be.”

        Mr. Hutchinson and Superintendent Kathleen Klink began discussing potential areas to cut with the board during Monday's regular school board meeting. Most of those centered on personnel because 85 percent of the district's budget is devoted to salaries and benefits.

        “There is no one solution that's going to take care of all of this,” Mrs. Klink said. “There is no solution from legislators that's going to rescue Lakota. Everything we do is on the table for intense discussion.”

        In their presentation, Mr. Hutchinson and Mrs. Klink talked about 126 positions, state minimum busing, going back to a six-period day, increasing rental fees for school facilities, and the fees for sports and field trips. If the ballot issue is turned down again, a final plan on cuts would be made by spring and implemented next August.

        “I look at this list and I see a whole domino effect on the educational process,” said board President Sandy Wheatley. “The ripple effect is incredible.”

        The district has made $2 million in cuts this year to reduce deficit spending. Those would continue and more would be added, Mr. Hutchinson said. This year's cuts increased class size so fourth-grade classes now average 30 children, said board member Susan McLaughlin.

        “I don't think our community wants this,” Mrs. McLaughlin said.

        “Do you like the Lakota we have today — or at least last year — and do you want to keep it?” board member Joan Powell said. “It's not something new. It's to keep the quality we're used to.”

        Mrs. Klink said the board also would have to address the need for additional classrooms, but would have little money to rent space or buy portable classrooms.


Fate of school levy a matter of geography
Batsakes caps deal for space downtown
Get ready to wait for PlayStation2
Teacher may be on 'Survivor 2'
PULFER: Jerry Schmitz
School mourns boy killed by train
Drug sales by juveniles increasing?
Family center honors Berry
Glitch found in new DUI law
Anti-abortion group encourages votes for Lucas
Audit of stadium overruns to cost taxpayers $627K
CFC execs invest in court race
Christian school stresses Bible, enrichment
City looks to sell Blue Ash Airport
Coal sludge damage said to rival Alaska's Valdez oil spill
Dispatch center nearly complete, official says
Ex-Chiquita lawyer seeks Enquirer papers
Jail controversy affects Elsmere race
- Lakota may cut staff if levy fails
Molester sentenced, thanks apprehenders
Montgomery boards need volunteers
N.Ky. man honored for photo of snake
New levy likely in Fairfield
Outside agency to probe police actions
Oxford manager well known
Police seek robber after bank holdup
Porn seller hustles to open store
Racist graffiti targeted by stadium workman
Sidewalks due after 14-year wait
SAMPLES: 'Sweetheart': sweet, or tart?
Warren Co. jail adding 14 beds
Halloween: Trick or Treat hours
In the Schools
Kentucky News Briefs
Tristate A.M. Report