Southwest Ohio district’s cuts show schools’ woes

Daily Jeffersonian - April 30, 2012

A snapshot of what’s happening in school districts around Ohio as state funding cuts and a weak economy take their toll:

One by one, the parents of Lakota Schools came down the auditorium steps to stand before the microphone. Some were dressed in business attire; shirt-and-tie, sport coats, dresses. Others were casual, in jeans and T-shirts.

All were unhappy about what is happening in one of Ohio’s highest-rated school districts, as it deals with tough budget pressures that schools across the state are grappling with.

“We are cutting every student’s ability to achieve his full potential,” said longtime resident John Trygier.

“I wanted them to have the Lakota education I had,” said Lisa Babcock, a mother of five. “Are you going to drive all the parents out of the school district?”

That’s the start of an article from the Daily Jeffersonian, in Cambridge, Ohio. The story describes a school board meeting in this Cincinnati suburb, but similar scenes are playing out across the state, as school districts face damaging cuts that undermine the education of their children.

“We have no choice,” Karen Mantia, the superintendent, said repeatedly.

School officials had just laid out measures to slash $10.5 million, more than 6 percent, from the district’s budget. That’s 141 lost jobs, most of them teachers, one fewer class period a day, less instructional time and less art, music and physical education.

The story cited our survey of school district officials that showed that two-thirds of responding Ohio districts face shortfalls. The article, “Southwest Ohio district’s cuts show schools’ woes,” describes how even high-performing, affluent districts are being forced to make cuts.

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