LAKE TOWNSHIP, OH (Toledo News Now) - Planning ahead for the worst, the Lake Local School Board made a move that will ensure voters get another chance to say yes if an Aug. 7 levy fails.
The past two levies at Lake High School have failed, but school administrators are optimistic a levy will pass this time. If not, they have a backup plan.
"We have to pass this year. If we don't, it will be devastating. I think you'll see a major exodus of leadership, teaching staff, students, families, board members because there really isn't much left to cut," said Tim Krugh, president of the Lake Local School Board.
Voters will have two chances to pass a levy for Lake Local Schools, with the first try Aug. 7. If it fails to pass, board members voted Wednesday morning to put the same levy at 6.75 mills on the November ballot.
"We've tried to stay off the ballot as much as we can and it's our time to do that. There's different things you can do, you can either cut expenses or raise revenue. We've cut our expenses, we've laid off some terrific, terrific people, but we still need these revenues," said Jim Witt, superintendent of Lake Local Schools.
The district laid off 43 people in March, along with closing Walbridge Elementary and ending all-day kindergarten in order to save $1 million. More savings were made Wednesday when a new deal with the teachers union included no wage increases, which is an additional $180,000 in savings.
"It's not easy to accept but we also understand with the economy being the way it is, with the lack of state funding support we've had- the school district doesn't really have a choice so we had to do our part to make things as good as possible for our students," said Rick Brimmer, Lake Education Association president.
A deficit is expected in January 2013. If the levy fails this year, in August or November, more cuts are expected.
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