Opposing are: Middletown, Talawanda and Madison.
Logan said she needed more time to discuss the possibility with Lakota board members.
The five-member Lakota board meets next on June 28, just two days before the June 30 deadline to join the pro-tax group. Under the new law, Lakota would have vote to opt out of the tax option by a simple majority if that is the direction it chooses to go.
The new school security taxing option, which went into effect statewide in March, is being fast-tracked by BCESC officials to meet the state’s filing deadline of Aug. 8 for placement on the November ballot.
Parnell said that rapid pace of putting the school levy on the ballot is just one of the reasons why he opposes asking Lakota taxpayers for more money for school security. The other, larger reason is that Lakota doesn’t need the money, he said.
“We are already paying too much (tax) money and we do not need to go back to the taxpayers for more money,” said Parnell, who has a record of fiscal conservatism that has sometimes clashed with fellow board members in the past.
He said Lakota officials have reported a large budget surplus and the district is projected to be financially solvent in the coming years.
Parnell said student safety is the highest priority, but added that Lakota is already outpacing most other local districts in having armed school police officers patrol its 22 buildings as well as installing high-tech security devices and procedures.
Moreover, he said, voters already approved a tax hike in 2013 whose campaign selling points included using millions of dollars raised by the tax to enhance school building safety.
“We haven’t discussed this as a board, but we don’t need to be part of this levy. I’ve talked to a large number of community members and I have not found one person in favor of this thing,” said Parnell.
Fairfield City Schools Superintendent Billy Smith said the initial split between local districts backing the new tax and those who don’t — at least so far — isn’t surprising.
“We all have different needs,” said Smith.