The Lakota Board of Education concluded Monday night at its regular scheduled meeting that it would not place a tax levy on the November ballot. All five of the school board members, the treasurer and Lakota’s superintendent agreed it wasn’t the right time to ask voters to approve a tax hike.
Lakota officials commented that they needed to know more about the state’s budget and more on what type of levy the community would support.
“We need more direction from our community on where it thinks our school district should be heading and what level of service it’s willing to fund,” board president Ben Dibble said in a statement Monday night.
After his statement, Dibble asked if any other board members wanted to direct Lakota Treasurer Jenni Logan to prepare a resolution to place a levy on the ballot. Not one school board made the request.
Furthermore, Dibble said that the decision to not place a levy on the ballot doesn’t mean the school district won’t ask voters to pass one in the future.
He also said, the board will need to “evaluate what impact” the latest $10.5 million in cuts will have on students this upcoming school year. Those cuts include 141 teaching, classroom aide and staff positions, as well as the loss of some elective classes.
In the past two years, voters have rejected three straight tax levies proposed by Lakota. Those levy failures have resulted in roughly $35 million in cuts during the past three school years.