LHS Students, Staff Concerned Over Levy Vote

The Lakeland Joint School District 272 Will Vote on Levy Today


“Sports are a huge part of my life and, honestly, I am not sure what I would do if we had to get rid of them,” said sophomore Alexis Hanna.

Hanna’s parents are both coaches, so she grew up around sports. She has invested countless hours into her passion for softball and volleyball. Without sports, Hanna’s life would change drastically.

Unfortunately for her, that change could become a reality.

Lakeland School Joint District 272 will rerun its levy on May 16. The failure of the levy to be passed will result in a massive loss in funding for the district.

While no potential cuts have been identified, members of the Lakeland High School community are worried that their extracurricular activities could be at risk.

All LHS sports and activities are primarily funded by the money that comes from the levy. Without the levy, there is a chance that these sports and activities would have to be cut.

“Our sports teams could be taken away, which would be awful,” Hanna said.

The money from the levy contributes significantly to the schools. In fact, it provides about 25 percent of the school’s funding.

The vote for the levy is required by the state.

Areas that the levy may be used for include armed district safety specialists, building security upgrades, certified staff, administrators, transportation, extracurricular activities, athletics, elective courses, KTEC, building maintenance and improvements, and more.

Currently, the high schools in the LJSD272 district have several elective and extracurricular options to choose from.

This variety is especially important for teens to allow them to explore what they are interested in and become involved in the school community.

Becoming involved in the academic community through clubs and sports help students build social and athletic skills, relieve boredom and academic pressure, create connections and friendships, improve college applications, and more.

Ciara McKinzie has a passion for music and acting. She participates in acting, stagecraft, and concert choir.

If the levy fails to pass, McKinzie could miss out on opportunities to take part in music and acting programs.

“I would be very sad if I could not participate in these activities,” said McKinzie.

The first time the levy was run, it did not pass. 52.47 percent of voters voted no, and 47.26 percent voted yes.

The decision to re-run the levies was a 4 to 1 vote.

There are two levies, a supplemental tax levy and a plant facility tax levy. The supplemental levy will be a two-year levy, and the plant facility levy will be a six-year levy.

Taxpayers can visit the Lakeland District 272 website to see how much will be asked of them based on their property value.

For some, the tax money may be an inconvenience. Not everyone is excited about the idea of passing the levy, and they are worried that it may financially impact them. Several organizations, and locals on Facebook are not in favor of paying the tax for the levies.

For others, the benefits of the levy are more important. There are many people who want to help fund the schools and provide more opportunities for their children.

Different people have different opinions about the levy, and it is encouraged that they go vote for what they believe should happen with the levy on May 16.

When asked whether she believed the levy would pass, Lakeland teacher and mother Rebecca Hasz replied, “I am hopeful. I think that our community is pretty supportive of our schools and our programs.”

Lakeland teacher and coach Laura Kelley stated, “Exercise your right to vote. Everyone needs to be talking positively about voting for the Levy; educate those that are unaware, and remind friends and family members to vote yes on the levy.”

The Lakeland 272 board members did not respond to questions by the story’s deadline.