Michael D. Clark reports:
The last of a series of historically deep budget cut proposals could eliminate about 50 jobs from Lakota Schools’ central office and school administrative team, Lakota officials revealed to The Enquirer this afternoon.
Under this latest proposal, Lakota would do away with one of its two assistant superintendents, two school building administrators and the dean of students at both Lakota East and Lakota West high schools.
Also proposed for elimination are: speech pathologists, social workers, adaptive physical education assistants, school psychologists, occupational therapist, physical therapy assistant, job coach, sign language interpreter and a teacher-on-special assignment.
The proposal also calls for revamping the district’s nursing services. The jobs of 11 licensed school nurses and 13 clinic aides would be eliminated
Cost savings of $3.5 million would result, said Lakota officials.
Greater Cincinnati’s second largest school system – and the seventh largest in Ohio – has seen in recent weeks a series of budget cut plans addressing different aspects of the 18,000-student district.
Lakota officials are attempting to reduce $9 million from its annual operating budget of $154 million to avoid a projected budget shortfall of $14.1 million in 2015.
This latest plan will be publicly revealed at the school board’s 7 p.m. meeting tonight.
The proposal includes cutting administrators and other district-wide personnel as well as supplemental contracts for after-school jobs such as club advisors.
The meeting is being held at Lakota East High School, 6840 Lakota Lane in Butler County’s Liberty Township.
Lakota residents can also see the previous reduction proposals made in recent weeks at www.lakotaonline.com/budget and the web site will include this latest plan later today.
The Lakota school board is scheduled to vote on all the proposed budget cuts during its March 12 meeting.
The district is the largest in Ohio to earn the state’s highest academic rating of “Excellent With Distinction”.
More than a 100 teaching positions among Lakota’s 1,100 instructors are targeted for elimination next school year under the proposals to date.
The budget slicing comes in the wake of three school tax levy defeats at the ballot in the last two years.