2013 Levy Facts
With an annual budget that is $20.8 million less than three years ago, Lakota Local Schools is committed to preserving and modernizing its educational programs and services in a fiscally responsible way.
The priorities for the November 2013 levy were shaped by the community's collective vision for the future of education. The identified areas aim to maximize the community's long-term investment in our schools by stretching the dollars to positively impact as many students as possible.
Levy implementation updates were provided in March 2014, April 2014 and May 2014.
Lakota's 2013 Levy at a Glance
- 5.5 mill continuing combination levy request for November 2013.
- Combines 2.0 mills - or $5 million annually - for permanent improvements and 3.5 mills - or $8.8 million annually - for operations.
- Would provide a total of $13.8 million in annual funding.
- Taxpayer would pay $16 per month on each $100,000 of real estate value.
Permanent Improvement Funds (PI)
PI Funds are for things with an estimated life of five years or longer, like computer routers, servers, textbooks, heating and cooling equipment, security equipment, roofs, paving, etc. Money generated by a permanent improvement levy cannot be used to fund operating expenses.
Operating funds support academic programs and the staff needed to keep them going. They also fund utilities, transportation for our students and state-mandated programs like the Third Grade Reading Guarantee and the new Teacher Evaluation standards.
What Your Investment Supports
The funds generated from the levy would preserve and modernize Lakota's excellent educational programs by supporting these key areas:
A multi-year investment in updated equipment and support services. We want to offer students access to the same advanced technologies they’ll be using in higher education or the workforce.
Modernized technology will help sustain our current educational offerings and transform the learning experience by:
- Giving students hands-on experience with advanced technologies;
- Introducing modern course options and formats;
- Providing anytime, anywhere access to learning; and
- Increasing efficiencies and cost savings.
Student Academics, Opportunities & Services
With the help of our community, we identified some high-priority needs for our students, including:
|Advanced Technologies & Modernized Coursework||Funding is allocated for advanced technologies and modernized coursework to individualize learning, a focus area of the district’s current strategic planning work.|
|Expanded Bus Service||Busing will be offered to students in grades 2-6 who live farther than one mile from school (2,200 additional students).|
|Increased Extracurricular Participation||To help increase student participation in extra-curricular activities like band, winter guard and athletics, Lakota has proposed an adjusted fee structure, including fee reductions and a family cap for junior high and high school students. Fees will be reduced by 27% at the high school level and 14% at the junior high level. The cap ranges from $800 for families with one student to $2,000 for families with four students.|
|Art, Music & Physical Education||Students in grade 4-6 will be offered one additional day of art, music or physical education. Currently, students take classes in art, music or P.E. one time per week.|
|7-Period School Day (Grade 9)||Students in grade 9 would be offered a seven-period class schedule, instead of six periods per day, to provide them with more course choices at a critical point in their high school career.|
Safety & Security
Modifications to buildings and systems to protect our students, staff and visitors. Triple the number of police and deputies in the schools.
Facility Upkeep & Maintenance
Lakota’s facilities represent the community’s largest investment in the schools—an investment of more than $400 million. Repair and maintain Lakota’s 25 large buildings and grounds.
Despite reductions in annual spending, we must preserve the current level of educational programs offered at Lakota.
- The last levy to be approved was in 2005.
- Over the last three years, the Lakota School District, which operates with a balanced budget, has reduced annual spending by $20.8 million.
- The November levy would increase funding by $13.8 million annually, less than the amount cut.
- From 2010 to 2012, spending per pupil in Lakota decreased by more than 8 percent, and is among the lowest of similar school districts in the area.