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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lakota Blues

The operating levy for the Lakota school district was voted down last November. The Lakota school district covers West Chester and Liberty Township, Ohio, in the suburbs of Cincinnati. The population in these two townships is mid to upper middle class and not exactly hurting for finances. For those who do not know, schools are financed via property taxes collected by the county on behalf of the school district, and limited funding comes from the State of Ohio, with next to nothing coming from the Federal Government.

For the last several years, there has been a concerted effort to defund the local school district. Why? Not sure, but it could be linked to a fringe Tea Party group. That faction insists that schools should not be supported by the public and that only parents should be paying for the privilege of educating their children. They've managed to sell the idea that the residents are Taxed Enough Already and shouldn't be taxed.

What has cost so much in the district? Lakota has won Most Excellent District with Distinction from the State of Ohio for the past several years. The schools have produced many young scholars, musicians and other artists. New elementary schools and new high schools were built to relieve the crowding from the growth of population in the area. I guess some are upset that administrating such a large district requires more and more funds.

With the reduction of operating dollars, budgets have been cut. Staff has been reduced and busing has been cut back. Academic programs are threatened and school athletics have been eliminated at the Junior High level. So with all those concerns, what are the local parents upset about? According to a first hand report I got from Junior High PTO meeting, a large portion of the parents were upset about Middle School football being cut and not the reduction of remedial Mathematics.

Unbelievable. These preppy, yuppy, over-achieving dreamers of parents are willing to sacrifice academics for athletics. What values do these parents hold? They are interested in family sports and activities, yes, but they hold these values over academics? My concern for our future has just been elevated further. I guess my new found interest in the Blues is fitting.

2 comments:

  1. What do the district's financial statements look like? Are they audited every year, and do they receive an unqualified opinion on their financial statments?

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  2. I have similar concerns for my area. We really could use more noise from both businesses and government about the need for well educated workers if we want to maintain our top rate way of life.

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