CORTLAND — The Lakeview Board of Education on Monday took the first step to place a new levy to generate $2,075,000 on the May 3 ballot.
The board voted to proceed with the submission of the levy, which district treasurer Sean Miller on Tuesday said will be 6.8 mills. A special meeting is expected to be held later this month to approve the millage, which was provided by the county auditor Tuesday, and to submit the levy to the board of elections.
The deadline to get on the May ballot is Feb. 2.
At the board of education’s regular November meeting, Miller called the district’s five-year forecast “bleak,” and said projections put the district in the red by the end of fiscal year 2025.
At the time, he said the district has been operating on “2010 dollars” and the taxpayers had not been asked for new money for general operations in more than a decade — a 2015 levy was specifically to build and maintain the new K-8 building.
Miller also pointed to increasing expenditures from unfunded state mandates such as the College-Credit Plus program and an increase in students leaving the district through open enrollment, which costs the district some $230,000 per year.
Lakeview Superintendent Velina Jo Taylor previously said the district has been trying to reduce staff through attrition and recognized it will need to make additional reductions. She said if the district asked the taxpayers for more money, it would be an “honest ask.”
Also on Monday, the board of education in its reorganizational meeting elected Jennifer Nicholas board president and Beth Harris, who attended the meeting remotely, vice president.
In the regular meeting, the board heard from eighth-grade students Chelsea Walker and Alex Bates the “Reindeer Games” fundraiser the pair organized with classmates Isaiah Lantz and Will Kirila for a “problem solver” project in their English class raised $540 for the “winning” charity, the Warren Family Mission, as well as $377 for the Autism Society of the Mahoning Valley, $330 for Veterans’ Outreach and $150 for United Way.
Taylor also reported on the school’s COVID-19 cases since winter break. Last week, with three days of class, 39 students and two adults tested positive for COVID-19. Monday, an additional seven students and three adults tested positive.
“Clearly COVID is among us,” Taylor said.