As of 9:45 on the evening of June 24th Lakota administrators had not called a vote for the most controversial issue of the meeting–whether or not they would attempt a tax increase on the fall ballot. When the last of the crowd had left for the evening in sheer boredom, only the school board members, Superintendent Mantia and a couple of levy addicts remained for the unanimous vote to consider a 5.5 mill levy. At that time of the night, Michael Clark of the Cincinnati Enquirer already had his article written, as it was due for the next day’s edition, so he had been given the details before the meeting by the administrators who deliberately held off the vote till the end of the night to avoid any controversy. The type of deception that took place at the school board meeting is just the tip of the iceberg in the district of Lakota, who like all public education institutions is top heavy with administration and well behind the times of how proper education should be conducted. In government schools the goal is to create government jobs and pay their employee salaries, not to care for children, and Lakota knowing that there would be push-back to their announcement, waited till everyone had left to make their grand proclamation, which was already printed up by the Cincinnati Enquirer before the meeting was half-way finished. That article read as follows:
The Lakota Board of Education voted unanimously Monday evening to place a combination operating levy and a permanent improvement tax on the Nov. 5 ballot.
Voters will decide on a 3.5-mill operating levy and a 2-mill permanent improvement levy combined into a single 5.5-mill school tax hike issue.
The board’s vote is the first of two required under Ohio law to place school tax issues on the ballot. Lakota officials have until Aug. 7 to file with ButlerCounty election officials for the Nov. 5 ballot.
If approved, the levy would cost an additional $168 annually in new school taxes on a $100,000 home.
Some of the 2-mill permanent improvement levy money would go to enhancing security at Lakota school buildings, including adding more cameras. Other funds would go to improving student technology.
The 3.5-mill operating levy would largely fund labor and other costs.
In a statement today, Lakota Superintendent Karen Mantia said approval of the combination levy would allow $6.3 million for upgraded security and $13.5 million for a multiyear technology upgrade program.
“Security has always been important,” Mantia said. “But unfortunately, with the world we live in now, we need to do even more.”
She added that the security spending would include tripling the number of police officers and sheriff’s deputies in Lakota schools, as well as physical changes to school buildings.
Lakota’s student and district network of technology needs updating, she said.
“We can use technology to be more effective and cost-efficient,” she said. “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.”
Read the rest of the article at the following link:
The article was just as deceitful as was the conditions from which the vote was conducted. Mantia stated that the levy a 2-mill permanent improvement levy would go to enhance security at Lakota school buildings, including adding more cameras. Other funds would go to improving student technology. The remaining 3.5 mill would go to fund the new teacher contract for the Lakota Education Association which expires in June of 2014. Attempting to capitalize on the recent fearful circumstances of school shootings, Mantia attempted to divert attention away from their horrendous management of school finances to declare that the new tax increase would make “children safer.” But Dan Varney, treasurer for NoLakota was quick to call out the ruse saying that “Lakota officials are “trying to exploit the Sandy Hook killings” by including a promise of spending more money on school security if the tax is approved.
“In December, a gunman killed 26 at the Sandy Hook Elementary in New Town, Conn. The shooting deaths of 20 children and six adult school staffers launched a nationwide examination of school security measures.
“That’s the security card they are playing and I’m sure that will be our position as the campaign moves forward,” said Varney.
As stated elsewhere, Lakota does not need more money. It has a consistent tax base that is already taxed too high. Yet Lakota’s employee demand is decreasing. Lakota needs to lay-off workers, not hire more, or even keep the ones they have. With the student enrollment decreasing every year for the next decade, Lakota schools will only need half their current school buildings before the close of the decade, primarily because the barrier to entry in the Lakota school district for families with school aged children is prohibitively high. Families with children won’t be buying used homes in Lakota, they will move into communities that have entry level starter homes. Increasingly the type of people who will live in the Lakota district are home owners without children in the district. And those people won’t be voting in favor of more taxes, especially for a school district that has no idea how to balance their budget.
Instead of playing things straight the Lakota administration attempted to use even more deceit to sneak the vote in favor of a new levy through once all the residents had gone home for the evening. The Enquirer had the article already written. All they had to do was wait for everyone to leave so there wouldn’t be any public record of any comments against them at the meeting. The attendance was light, as most of the residents at Lakota gave up a long time ago in believing that the school board has any control over the their finances, and the behavior of Lakota on June 24th, 2013 makes it clear why. The Lakota school board with their superintendent and other administrators cannot be trusted with little things, let alone, millions of dollars more just so they can avoid the hard decisions of laying-off their employees to match the declining student enrollment. And it is for that reason more than any other that the Lakota school system should be defunded to the maximum amount possible. Lakota as an organization is built on deceit, and are at best complicit of gross distortion of the facts in order to serve the whims of their teacher union and their employees who make a quarter million dollars a year for playing loose with the truth, and squeezing the community of its every last dime.