Fall sports enrollment OK despite fee hike

Perkins Schools pay-to-participate fees: up. District-wide enrollment: up. Participation in extracurricular activities: up in most cases.
Alissa Widman Neese
Aug 21, 2013
Documents to justify the latter two claims: not readily available, according to district officials.

Despite this year’s two failed tax levies, slew of district-wide cuts and hiked pay-toparticipate fees, Perkins Schools hasn’t seen a dramatic drop-off of fall athletes or incoming students, athletic director Mike Strohl and superintendent Jim Gunner said Tuesday. “We’re either at or up in every sport compared to last year,” Strohl said. “By no stretch of the imagination will this be healthy long term, but from what we see right now, we’re doing just fine and hanging in there. Parents are finding a way to make it happen.”

Perkins Schools officially implemented inflated pay-toparticipate fees Aug. 6, the day a majority of voters rejected the district’s 10-year, 6.73-mill emergency operating levy proposal. The fees range from $730 per high school sport to $100 per high school or middle school club.

The Register emailed Strohl and Gunner on Friday, asking for enrollment data to illustrate pay-to-participate’s impact on fall extracurricular activities, specifically athletics. When they spoke to the Register on Tuesday, the pair said the information won’t be available until September, although almost all sports have already started their seasons.

The Register emailed a public records request to treasurer Lisa Crescimano on Tuesday evening, requesting district-wide enrollment numbers for the past five years, all fall sports rosters and other documents.

According to Strohl and Gunner, nothing contained within the documents will be particularly surprising.

“Most schools that have implemented pay-to-participate fees have shared with us exactly what we’re experiencing — in the first year, parents figure it out, so there isn’t any sign of loss in year one,” Gunner said. “If it continues in the long term, then it starts to have an impact.”

Pay-to-participate fees for athletes will cover transportation fees and coach and adviser salaries. They will also cover athletic director Mike Strohl’s salary and benefits, about $109,000, and athletic secretary Linda Bixler’s salary and benefits, about $27,000.

The district calculated the cost of the fees by adding the total cost of each sport and dividing by the total number of athletes participating in district sports in the past school year, according to data the Register obtained from Crescimano. The fees were calculated in the same way for clubs and music activities, including band and choir.

Fall athletes must pay all their participation fees by Nov. 6, the day after the district’s levy election.

If a majority of voters approve the November levy — identical to the levy they rejected earlier this month — all fees paid up to that point will be refunded. Pay-toparticipate fees will return to $35 for high school sports and $25 for middle school sports. Students participating in band and choir will no longer pay fees.

Perkins Schools pay-to-participate fees

$730 per high school sport

$220 per high school music participation (band or choir)

$185 per middle school sport

$100 per high school or middle school club

Note: The initial club fee approved in June was $150, but board members took action at a special meeting in July to fix a calculation error, which misclassified Ohio Model United Nations as a sport instead of a club and inflated the cost.

Pick up a copy of the Register all this week for more stories on Perkins Schools, including fundraising and private donors offsetting pay-to-participate fee costs.



WesTaylor....and the new Ohio DOE report card says what about Perkins???


Merging with Sandusky? Be careful what you wish for. I think that many homeowners from Perkins Township would be none to happy to be paying the millage that is linked to the Sandusky City Schools. It is, if I'm not mistaken, significantly higher than the rate would be in Perkins EVEN IF the November levy passes.


You are correct PT.


15th Green,

In response to your comments: "Of course it is. Nothing dismantled yet but the implementation of extracurricular activity fees for sports and clubs to get votes. Still trying to figure out why the required classes of band and choir are assessed fees. For what? As far as I know, the schools are open for business on Monday. Everyone has their classes scheduled. Sports are all scheduled and in progress. Band is back from camp. Schools look clean and shined up. Buses washed and fueled up. A few teachers hired back. Sadly, a few lost. Enrollment is up, though. Kids have new shoes and backpacks. 1-1 free laptops fired up. Sounds like they're ready to go and it's business as usual. Not sure what all the fuss is about."

You left out, among other things, maintenance workers set to climb thru trap doors into crawl spaces under the HS building to inspect cast iron sewage pipes daily for new leaks, and paint over new blemishes in the 2nd floor ceiling (which contains asbestos) daily, as well as keep an eye on the flooring areas of the school that also contain asbestos, which are slowly deteriorating.

But that's all normal stuff that I'm sure most high schools in Ohio have to do, and of course, it is a wonderful use of these men's time. But no fuss. When Gunner retires, I think you should be our next Super. You obviously feel it is a very easy job, and have all the answers.

By the way, in year one of PTP fee implementation, most programs do not see a dramatic change in participation. It's year two, three, four, etc when the effects occur.

Also, taking the $220 Choir course is a choice, as is Band, neither are required. There is a class called "Concert Choir", which is free and takes care of the Fine Arts requirement. I know this because my Junior daughter is taking it.


Why is "Concert Choir" free and Regular Choir costs $220. Both travel the same, about two times a year. Both are High School classes. One teacher. Same room. No additional expense. Somebody tell me the difference!!!

Gunner and the BOE have stated we're not going to address the buildings until we're fiscally sound so it's a non issue right now, right? I'd like to see them wait until the voters say yes to a new building, though.


Gunner & BOE brought this on themselves, ask them to donate money to fix these problems.