Perkins Schools contract cut by $1 million; $11 million left to go

Non-teaching Perkins Schools employees approved a new 5-year contract this week that will save the district nearly $1 million during the next four years.
Alissa Widman Neese
Mar 14, 2013

That's one step.

Click here for a previous story about the proposed budget cuts for the district. 

The school board still can't agree on the next step, however, and determining what programs and staff members must be cut to save an additional $11 million remains unresolved.

Board members initially planned to announce two rounds of district-wide cuts last week and approve them this week.

Get the ePaper or buy a Register at a newsstand near you to read about what's next on the road to solvency for the Perkins school district.

After several hours of discussion during executive, closed-door meetings, however, they have yet to release vote for an approved list. 

"There are lots of options we need to discuss," board president Matt Kosior said. "If there was one good option we would have done it a long time ago. None of these cuts are cuts we want to make."

Check back here at for updates on this story and breaking news as it happens.



I'm interested in a strong community. But, I'm not willing to sacrifice my rights to vote on the taxes charged to me to make up that strong community . I believe in majority rule not bureaucratic rule.

I don't disagree that some of the funds requested are necessary . But , without the moving of funds from outside mileage to outside mileage so a school could be built without a community vote the mileage required would be about half. Unless Mr Gunner was lying to me during our meeting.


Some of us have chosen to stand up for your rights to vote on issues that effect your community. If fact , Americans have given up their lives to give you that freedom. How much more do you wish us to pay it forward ?

Strong Schools ...

We were given a choice two years ago to build new schools. Our schools were so bad that the state was willing to pay a nice percentage of the cost so it would not burden us so much. The citizens voted no and that forced the board to come up with creative ways to help solve the building issues. I believe the board and Gunner knew people would be upset if they moved the inside millage (not mileage) but they wanted to face the problem head on. It would have been easy for them to ignore the problem like their past predecessors. They did not make this choice to be popular, they made it to make the situation right. Remember, my taxes will go up just like yours. I know this issue goes a lot deeper but it is important to stay focused on what we are truly trying to gain. It does not bother me if Gunner does not live in the township. He probably pays more taxes for his schools than we do, considering we have the lowest property tax rates in the area. Plus a lot of people commute to their jobs every single day across this country. I am very grateful for the men and women who have allowed me to have my rights. We have three active military members in our family. I would never tell them they were not worth a few extra dollars. Their safety is a top priority...and so is the student's safety. Please stay focused. Donutshopguy, I really appreciate your questions and I appreciate you for standing up for my rights in certain situations. Please stand up for our children.


If the operating levy does not pass the school still gets built with or without it. Per my discussion with Mr Gunner.

So you have a brand new school which was built without public approval and no money to operate this bright shinny new monument to the BOE.

Return the operating levy to its correct level and put up a levy to fund the new school only. That's all the community wants.

A levy for operations only . A levy for building a new building and a chance to vote on both

Strong Schools ...

Good Morning,

I can totally see your side. I am concerned about one thing. What if the community still votes no on the levy? If the board moved everything back to its original state, would the community still vote for a new school? Some people (not all) voted against new schools and we were eligible to receive money form the state. It is so uncertain. We, as community members move our funds all of the time to pay our bills and update our homes. If there is not enough money in the checking account, then we transfer money from our savings account to cover the costs. Then we build our savings account back up by working and depositing the money. The board did what they felt was right for our children. When you walk through the buildings they look okay because the problems will get fixed for the short term. We need to look toward the future and think about the long term effect this decision could have on our children. I would be devastated if anything were to happen to my children. I want them to have an excellent education. But, it is also important to me for them to go to school in a facility that is up to code on security and safety. Trust me, I can see your side and understand your frustration but we need to stay focused on what this levy is all about and what it can do. Support our children!


Good morning ,

It is the responsibility of the school board and administration to explain and sell their proposals. If the levies don't pass than they didn't do their job or the community doesn't believe it is necessary at this time .

The present path being pursued by the BOE circumvents the process of allowing the community to make their decision.

This slippery slope on a local level is down right scary. The Perkins township proceeded this action and now need a new levy. Now the school will try to do the same thing. Yikes

Open enrollment is the great equalizer . If you don't like how a school is run or funded then send your child to a neighboring school.


I trust that intelligent people who spend extensive time studying the situation know best. I will support the levy.

Strong Schools ...

I agree that they need to sell their proposals but I feel sometimes it falls on deaf ears. People are going to hear what they want to hear. I know the board has repeated themselves over and over again about this issue but it is hard to get the message out when there are only 10 people at the board meeting. And no offense, but I feel the Sandusky Register does not always have their facts straight and their headlines can be misleading. I will give you credit for actually going to Gunner and getting the facts. Most people rely on blogs such as this for their information and they are becoming more misinformed. I am so happy our school district has open enrollment. A great majority of the schools in our state have open enrollment because it does help the schools receive more funding. Open enrollment helps our schools a lot! Perkins does have some students who choose to go to other districts but we have a lot more students who chose to come and get educated here. Perkins Township went on the ballot in November but Perkins Schools stayed off of the ballot to allow the township to have a better chance of winning. The board knew they were going to go on in May and now it makes it a little harder because the Township is going back on the ballot as well. I know we have a lot of decisions to make as community members but we will not need to have paved roads if no one is coming to Perkins in the first place. If we invest in our education then more people will want to live here in the future. Many people buy their homes based on the schools. We need to keep the pride going and invest in our students. If you build, they will come! There are many districts around us that have built new schools and when you visit their communities there is such a sense of pride because the board did not provide that opportunity...the community provided the opportunity! Invest in our children and our schools and we will see the benefits.



Strong Schools ...

Thanks, Old Pirate! The best thing we can do is to keep ourself educated and try to help others.

Strong Schools ...

Sorry...Keep ourselves educated not ourself. Please support our children and leave the politics out of the situation. Look at the big picture! Vote yes for our children and our community as a whole.

Strong Schools ...

Perkins 2060,

You are more than welcome to join our conversation. We have been having a great RESPECTFUL conversation and I would love to hear your views. I can see you are voting no but why? Donutshopguy and I have laid our thoughts on the table. What our your educated thoughts?


Don't you worry about why I vote the way I do. Vote NO!


Strong Schools - You are misinformed that financial incentive to match local building funds for the first levy was provided by the state and that it had anything to do with the alleged bad shape of the buildings. Those matching funds were offered at the time by the federal gov't and had nothing to do with the shape of the buildings. It was part of a recession bailout to kick start local economies. I think that the failure of that levy had as much to do with people disagreeing with the funding structure as it had to do with voting against the extravagance of the building plan ($100 million dollars). To put it in perspective, Firelands Regional Medical Center spent $42 million on their facility upgrade a the local school district wanted more than twice that?

To their credit, for this time around Gunner and the BOE have done some things to secure state funds based on what the Ohio Facilities Commission deem the shape of the buildings

Also, you wrote a few posts back that people move funds all the time to cover expenses in their households. Yes, but there would be huge problems in a marriage if one person moved funds against the wishes of the other and then claimed that they didn't know why the other person was angry or mistrustful.



I will never be against education.

The BOE , the superintendent and I have a philosophical difference on how schools should be funded and who's job it is to make those decisions. I believe it is the taxpayers decision. The BOE and superintendent feel otherwise.

I believe in the basic American right to vote and majority rule. The BOE and superintendent want to circumvent that basic right.

I won't give up this right without a fight . What is your stand in regards to this situation?

Strong Schools ...


The Ohio Schools Facility Commission goes to schools all over the state and rates their structures based on safety and the overall structure itself. The OSFC rated our schools to be in bad shape and that is why we were eligible to receive some state funding to make our schools more safe. This has been a practice for many years and that is why some areas around us have rebuilt their structures. Every community is going to have "no" voters, This is not uncommon at all. I am not disagreeing with you completely on the funds being moved. I do trust our board is making educated decisions that will better our schools and community. Majority of the voters did vote them into their positions. But it was not kept a secret. The board discussed this option for a long time. It is just sad that there were not more people in attendance at the board meetings to hear their conversations. This was not kept a secret and I wish the Sandusky Register would also help the community become better informed and check their facts before they print them in the paper.


You should never give up your right to vote and stand for what you believe in. I am doing the same thing right now. You and I have different beliefs and viewpoints and that is okay. I too, will stand up and use my right as a voting, contributing citizen of this community. I just hope there are more "yes" votes out there to support the long term....future.


Strong ,

With the current direction of the BOE and superintendent you have abdicated your right to vote on the building of a $50 million dollar school. Do you understand? Once you give them this power you will never get it back. Again, do you really understand ?

Strong Schools ...

I do understand. But I also understand that children's health and safety is more important. I can't put a price on any child's life. They are simply priceless and I hope when we get this levy passed we will not have to look at this situation for a very long time. I will not even be around when we will need new schools again. I have completed some research and the studies have shown that it is almost always cheaper to rebuild than to remodel. I know this is scary for a lot of people and I know a lot of people will think about the children They are the ones who will be affected the most. I am so glad we have had these conversations. I feel we would get more accomplished if other people would listen to one another and not close the doors to information so quickly.




The second Gunner stole the money from the operating expenses and moved it into the permanent improvement fund to build his brand new stadium and school without voter approval was the second I decided to vote no. I've talked to a lot of people in Perkins, including parents of children in the school, and I haven't heard of anyone that's going to vote yes on these levies except for a few people on this blog. The emergency levy will fail, and rightly so, and I doubt the renewal is going to pass either. When the levies fail, Gunner and the board will have no one to blame but themselves.


Vote NO on BOTH levies!

Strong Schools ...

Hi Wald,

The Athletic Boosters did approach the board about raising money for the stadium. Both parties gave money. The track could not be used for track meets because it was very torn up and our stands were condemned. People were getting hurt sitting in the stands. Thankfully, the problem was taken care of and now we have a beautiful stadium that a lot of people are proud of. I am sure there were some "no" voters who were impressed with the facility and enjoyed a game or two. The stadium is said and done and I am going to choose to look towards the future. But please know there is no such thing as "stolen money" and it was a partnership between the board and the athletic boosters. It is great to have people come from all parts of the state and be envious of our facilities. It makes a lot of people in our community feel proud of our multi-fuctional stadium. I have heard many positive people for the levy and I hope we can get more to express their support. The renewal will not cost us to pay any new monies so I don't understand why that should fail at all. Keep the children first and vote yes!


The taxpayers paid for half of the stadium upgrade when we were told no taxpayer money was being used. Nothing but lies and mistrust. Vote NO!


You said "it was a partnership between the board and the athletic boosters", which is exactly right. The only problem is that the taxpayers should have a say in how their money is spent. Taxpayers voted to have their money spent for one thing, but it was taken and spent on something else. I'd call that stolen, but you can put whatever spin on it that you want to. Since I don't trust Gunner to spend my money on what I vote to have it spent on, I and most others will be voting NO to both school levies, although I will be voting yes to the police levy.

Strong Schools ...

I shall vote for police as well! We have not given any new monies for thirteen years. That is a long time to be kept off the ballot. It is not unreasonable for them to ask for new money since it has been so long. Wald, What would you like to have your money spent on? I can understand if you don't want to share but I am just curious. Plus, we voted the board members into office. We gave them the responsibility to make sure our students are receiving a quality education. A quality education also includes facilities and technology that will support the 21st century learner. Remember, it is the children who are losing. Gunner and the board will report to work whether or not this levy fails. The children will be the ones suffering and I am going to support them and their needs. Think long term and support our schools!


Quick, call Harvard and tell them they need all new buildings that will "support the 21st century learner"!


I didn't "call Harvard", but I did search online and found the following headlines/information:
1) "Harvard to Build, Renovate 11 Sites in Boston Expansion" (Bloomberg, Oct. 12, 2012)
2) "Health and Life Sciences Center slated for groundbreaking in 2014" (Harvard Mag. 2012)
3) "Following Harvard University’s creation of the Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology Department, a new home was sought. Ultimately, the rebirth of the Sherman Fairchild Biochemistry Building was chosen as their new home. The Sherman Fairchild Biochemistry Building was a groundbreaking building at its completion in 1981 as one of the first buildings for biochemistry in the world, but it was in desperate need of renovation. In the spirit of the original building’s innovation, the renovation was to reestablish the laboratory of the future for Harvard in terms of its design and sustainability." (Payette reporting of R & D Magazine story, 2013).

This was just a sampling.

As for 21st Century learners, what do businesses really want in employees (information taken from this article:

1) Communications Skills (listening, verbal, written).
2) Analytical/Research Skills
3) Computer/Technical Literacy
4) Flexibility/Adaptability/Managing Multiple Priorities
5) Interpersonal Abilities
6) Leadership/Management Skills
7) Multicultural Sensitivity/Awareness
8) Planning/Organizing
9) Problem-Solving/Reasoning/Creativity
10) Teamwork


I'd like my money spent on quality programs and quality teachers, not $50 million school buildings that I didn't vote to have built. There is no trust, so vote NO!


The BS from these yes voters is unbelievable.


Strong ,

Why are you looking so short term rather than long term?

I am looking out for my children and grandchildren. Why so short sighted ?