VIDEO: Perkins school board debate

UPDATED: Candidates debate residency, finances
Sandusky Register Staff
Oct 6, 2013

Only one of four people vying for seats on the Perkins school board believes a superintendent should have to live in the district.


   Four Perkins Schools candidates seeking two open seats — Michael Ahner, Terry Chapman, J Franklin and Richard Uher — weighed in on the often hot-button issue during a Register-sponsored debate Thursday evening at Chet and Matt’s Pizza.

See photos from the debate HERE


   About 50 people attended the event in the restaurant’s banquet hall.


   To connect with a community, Franklin said a district’s top leader, including Perkins School superintendent Jim Gunner, who lives near Toledo, must reside in his or her district. Ahner, Chapman and Uher said it shouldn’t be required, although it’s preferred because it sends a strong, positive message to taxpayers.


   “It’s the job you do, not where you live that makes the difference,” Uher said. “If you can’t get the right candidate (in Perkins Township) and they’re not willing to move, you bring the best superintendent in to do the job regardless of where they live.”


   Other inquires from the crowd targeted the district’s fiscal future. Candidates discussed tax levies and a dwindling budget, as all the district’s reserve funds will be spent by the end of the current school year.    While the candidates all agreed a tax levy is inevitable, they disagreed on how much money the district should seek from taxpayers, especially given the board’s 2011 decision to move “inside millage” — funding used for day-to-day operations — into a separate account for building improvements.


   The polarizing decision has effectively segmented the Perkins community, and it was reflected in the four candidates as well.


   Ahner and Franklin proposed returning the 5.2 mills of funds back into the operating budget and then asking taxpayers for a smaller levy, possibly 2 mills, to get by in the short term. A future levy or bond issue would be required to fund building projects.


   “The first thing we need to do is reverse the inside millage move that wasn’t voted on,” Franklin said. “It wasn’t illegal but it was unethical.”


   Uher and Chapman said keeping the funds in their current location is the most feasible, cost-effective longterm option.


   The district is proposing a 10-year, 6.73-mill levy on the November ballot — its third levy attempt this year


   — which both candidates said they support. The new funds would replenish the depleted operating fund while also supporting new building projects without an additional levy or bond issue.


   “Moving the millage back is just a temporary fix,” Chapman said. “The move was not unethical. We as a district and a board have to manage our operational budget and our facilities, and we chose to move the millage to protect our facilities.”


   The four candidates are seeking a four-year term on the Perkins school board. The election is Nov. 5.

Watch the debate in the player provided below



Well said subtle. It is good to see someone with vision about the consequences for our inaction. I am sickened by the lack of a sense of community. The schools are the backbone of any community and the responsibility of all to insure its success. Vote yes.


I agree, well said, but how would you fix Sandusky Schools and their community since we're headed in the same direction and suffering the same "consequences"? Why is their system "failing" and their millage is higher? Also keep in mind, Perkins is a close second to last in the area per the Ohio BOE report card. Sandusky being last. Why are both becoming so close in many aspects, both community and schools. Roughly 400? open enrollment kids are from Sandusky, as well. Not arguing, just throwing it out there for discussion.

I really do think they're making strides, though and I know many successful Sandusky grads. I also know of many Perkins grads that finished in the top ten of their respective classes and turned out to be non productive citizens.


Never trust anyone who evades questions.
(In reference to Subtle)
(Published January 19, 2008)
The Grand Forks School Board has narrowed the list of school superintendent finalists to four. The short list includes Grand Forks Central Principal Jeff Schatz; Moorhead (Minn.), Superintendent Larry Nybladh; Dickinson Superintendent Paul Stremick, and James Gunner, the superintendent of the Bryan City School District in Bryan, Ohio.


And as long as were on the subject of Subtle and facts; this is a repost but it is important enough to repeat.

Subtle said that it is a known fact that athletes get more scholarships than other students which he suggested is a good reason for building the stadium with taxpayer funds instead of just donated funds.


That is a myth perpetuated by some parents and the now ever-growing cottage industry associated with travel sports leagues (including personal trainers, athletic directors, personal batting instructors, etc.)

From this:

According to Mark Kantrowitz and, approximately 1% to 2% of undergraduate students in Bachelor’s degree programs receive athletic scholarships, equaling a total of about $1 billion a year. While that monetary amount is growing at a rate of 4.5% year over year, the percentage of those that actual receive athletic scholarships has not risen higher than 1.8% since 1995-1996

About 13% of kids receive academic scholarships:



@underthebridge I have been to 3 awards ceremonies in the past 5 years at 2 different schools, and at each, there were more athletic scholarships announced than academic scholarships. That's just from my personal experience. What that article fails to mention is that most sports scholarships are full or large portion scholarships that offer children who may not have the financial resources to pay for college a chance to go to college. Academic scholarships are usually $1000, $2000, or maybe $5000. I have rarely heard of an academic 'full ride' (not saying they don't exist)... basically, academic scholarships typically cover books.

Many people here are eluding that many Sandusky students are financially disadvantaged. Which do you think is more beneficial to them, a full ride sports scholarship, or a $3000 academic one (leaving them to cover a minimum of $27,000)?


Mike Kantrowitz, who is referenced in both articles, is considered an EXPERT is college financing nationally. 3 awards ceremonies in 5 years amount to stories perpetuating the myth that athletics lead to more scholarship opportunities that academics.


You kind of avoided the question as to which scholarship benefits the economically disadvantaged student more but let me elaborate using the 2013-14 financial numbers from Colorado State University, which is the most transparent university (with regards to their scholarships) that I could find:

(Excerpt from

This year, students at CSU will receive approximately $26.2 million in academic scholarships.

The largest award CSU offers non-residents is the Triple Crown –– a total of 244 scholarships ranging from $20,000 to $36,000 spread out over four years.

One of the more coveted scholarships for in-state students is the Green and Gold Scholarship, which is $2,000 per year over four years

While academic scholarships are handled by the Student Financial Services office, athletic scholarships are distributed in-house by the athletic department.

The money for athletic scholarships at CSU comes from a combination of private support, revenue generating and university support, such as the $208 athletics fee every full time student pays each year.

A complex mathematical formula the NCAA uses determines how many full ride scholarships a university may distribute each year. At CSU, that number is 208 full ride scholarships totaling $7.3 million.


So we see that in the first statement, CSU gives out 244 scholarships ranging from $20,000 to $36,000 worth of their only substantial academic scholarship. For the sake of this reply let's take the median number of $28,000 and multiply that by 244, resulting in a total of $6.8 million in substantial academic scholarships.

That leaves 19.2 million in trivial academic scholarships such as the 'coveted Green and Gold Scholarship' of $2000 per year.

The estimated cost to attend CSU after grants is $33,962 for a total of $135,848 over a four year period. Subtracting the largest academic scholarship available ($36,000 over 4 years), this leaves the 244 lucky students only owing $99,848 for their college education. Keep in mind that many of those 244 will not get the $36k maximum leaving them owing up to $16,000 more.

The remainder of those academic scholarships average less than $2000 per year, basically covering 1/5th of their cost of room and board or all of their books and $700 worth of misc. expenses.

Conversely, the Athletic Department gives out 208 full ride scholarships covering all expenses, leaving those 208 students owing nothing. CSU lists no trivial athletic scholarships, but from my limited experiences at the 3 awards ceremonies, I do know that at least some colleges do offer low dollar (less than $5000) athletic scholarships. Regrettably, I was unable to find any information as to whether CSU does or does not offer such low dollar athletic scholarships.

So from this current, specific college example, we see that CSU offers a grand total of 36 more substantial academic scholarships than athletic full ride scholarships. The difference is, those 208 full ride scholarship recipients will owe nothing upon their completion of college while the 244 academic scholarship recipients will owe at least $99k.

Basically, yes, you are correct that 'more academic scholarships are offered than athletic' but as we can see from CSU's 244/208 substantial scholarships, the actual numbers are much closer than the statistics make them appear. I understand the logic there, as we don't want our children gambling all their hopes and dreams on athletic scholarships that are given to only the very best athletes; however, both Perkins and Sandusky have had numerous athletes of that caliber walking their halls.

My argument was that having quality sports programs and facilities was as important as any other program, and the expenditure of funds to provide, maintain, and improve those programs / facilities is a necessary expense that can't be overlooked or trivialized.

Let's not forget that where general admission to college is concerned, given a limited admission situation where two students of equal academic standing are applying, 90% of the time the admission will be given to the student with more varsity letters. Those post-secondary schools recognize that those organized extracurricular activities develop teamwork, dedication, character, the fortitude to push one's own abilities beyond preconceived limitations, the drive to always do your best, and a work ethic that provides those involved with a skill set that can help them succeed in all aspects of life.


double post


I didn't mean to avoid the question. I think that while the scenario you describe might help a disadvantaged student more than an academic one, but I just don't think schools can nor should they cater to that small of a student group that is not specifically academically related.

Sports have morphed from being that which rounds out students into being both an over-focus for the organization and a financial drain on districts budgets More and more taxpayers are rightly saying, "foul." It can't be sustained. It isn't that I am saying as a citizen/taxpayer that I don't want these students to have what I had. I actually do - what I had not what it has evolved into. But sports, and it is only a few sports, have ballooned into programs that are financially unsustainable. The costs are ridiculous: coaches, assistant coaches, trainers, athletic directors, athletic director secretaries, etc.


The problem is, with open enrollment, you can send your child to any neighboring school. Any parent that wants their child to succeed is going to send their student to the school with the best opportunity. If Perkins facilities are run down, we are going to lose students to Huron. I'm not saying that sports should be supported and academics neglected, but that new stadium was an investment that cost a relatively trivial amount of money and that will probably serve PHS well for the next 30+ years baring any natural disasters.


So let me get this straight. Open Enrollment is enacted to "save the district financially" by getting the tax dollars from other districts in our district. But the only way we can "save the district financially" is by spending more money. Do you see how unsustainable this way of thinking is?


Open enrollment has generated a lot of money for Perkins schools, it also had nothing to do with the need to replace the old dilapidated stadium that has been in disrepair for over a decade.

My point is that if Perkins does not offer quality facilities, programs, and safe buildings, I am going to open enroll my child at Huron, because I want my child to have the most opportunity possible. I doubt I am a minority in that sentiment.

I'm not talking about spending money on the stadium because of the students open enrolling to us, I'm saying unless Perkins remains one of the top districts in the area in all measures, sports, programs, education, and security, Perkins parents who care about their children will open enroll them to Huron and the district will lose money.

Let me put it this way: when you are on vacation, you don't stay in that single floor hotel with the half-full swimming pool if you care about your family, no matter how inexpensive it is. You pick the nicest one you can afford.

Schools are no different. If Perkins falls into ruin, I will open enroll my child to Huron or move up to Avon / Avon Lake. Fortunately, I believe there are still enough good people in Perkins to make sure that never happens. The new stadium was a step in the right direction. The campus that got voted down several elections ago was also a step in the right direction. The bottom line is our students deserve the best and it is the community and district's obligation to ensure that they have it.


I mean this: improve the EDUCATION the students are earning and I think a levy will pass. Work toward moving the state report card to EXCELLENT not EFFECTIVE. Work toward moving the state report card from C's and Fs to all As and the money will follow. People will financially support quality education because they don't want to jeopardize it.

The rest is gravy.


You do realize it had been "CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT" from 2004 - 2007(one step below its current rating),before Dr. Gunner was hired on? Since he has been heading the district, it basically went from a (C)"CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT" to a (B) "EFFECTIVE" with the 2009-2010 year being (A)"EXCELLENT", for only the second time in the school's history!

The High School has been consistently "Excellent" meaning that by the time students get to the only grade levels that actually effect their futures, they are scoring above the majority of students in the state. To me that means that teachers in elementary and middle schools spent time teaching concepts instead of just drilling practice tests and going over only material they know will be on the test.

It could also mean that Perkins isn't 'gaming the system' the way some districts do by 'helping' their special needs and lower 20% pass their tests.

Whatever the case, only Huron and Perkins have over 70% of their students pursuing post-secondary educations and having very high average scores on the ACT... guess they are doing something right.

You simply can't build your curriculum, and tailor your schools instruction to fit the lowest common denominator without hurting the students who are above average or who truly excel.


@Centauri, that's pretty funny, but I had to work; that's one of those values I believe in passing down to my children. As such, I didn't have time to come on here and post an immediate reply.

@fifteenthgreen Fundamentally, the Sandusky School System is fine. It has a decent amount of teachers holding Masters degrees, offers diverse programs and follows a solid curriculum.

Unfortunately, as I and many others have said, it begins at home. That lack of respect for authority and other people is rampant in Sandusky. Heck, there is a new columnist on SR who as of today, only posted articles bashing the SPD, prosecutors office and court system in general. His articles are meant to foster racial intolerance, and from reading the comments associated with each piece, there are a large number of people here who agree with that agenda.

The children of Sandusky should be taught that you are only in trouble with the law when you break the law; and if you hang out with criminals, you are going to be perceived as a criminal.

Parents in Sandusky should show an interest in their children's education and encourage them to succeed. They should know where their children are at 1am, which in all cases, while in high school should be "bed". Nothing appropriate for school age children happens after midnight, be it a weekend, school night or summer.

Parents in Sandusky should stress the fact that if you don't get into college, particularly in this economic climate, you are going to struggle your entire life. Parents in Sandusky should instill the belief that a person is entitled to nothing that they do not earn. If you work hard and apply yourself and constantly look to better your situation, you become a success. If you complain about your situation and blame other people, the neighborhood you grew up in, or your family dynamic, you eventually become part of the problem and the circle continues.

To improve the economic situation, Sandusky residents need to support their local businesses rather than choose to buy products and services from the most inexpensive national chain stores and restaurants. We need to encourage new businesses to set up shop in Sandusky, but unfortunately they won't if they feel that they won't get support from the community (service / restaurant oriented businesses) or they cannot get favorable terms from the City (manufacturing related businesses).

One of the recent opinion pieces on here chastised Sandusky for too many juvenile criminal cases, yet that is actually a positive initiative. Currently, people are scared to move into Sandusky because of the violence and crime. They are afraid for their families well being and their property. Teaching the children that all actions have consequences at a young age is important and may decrease the crime rate in the future.

If that columnist had really wanted to make an article that encouraged political discourse and led to change, he should have looked at the sentencing applied to those cases. You don't get arrested and convicted of a crime if you weren't breaking the law; so it could be said that every child in those cases he listed were breaking the law and absolutely need to recognize those actions have consequences.

It's not the arrests that should be a topic, it's the sentencing. If the offense is non violent and non drug related, the punishment should be community service for first time offenders. That way they learn the value of hard work, help clean up the city, and maybe learn the work that goes into maintaining property and keeping things looking nice.

If the typical sentence was the detention home, then yes, this initiative is failing many of the children. Children need to learn that their mistakes have consequences, but you don't want to put them in a situation where they are surrounded by violent repeat offenders because they got caught breaking curfew, skipping school, or stealing a candy bar.

If a child steals (1st time offender) say a starter hat, they should be forced to perform community service at minimum wage equivalent. At this point, everyone reading this is saying to themselves 'three hours of community service seems like a slap on the wrist' but that is because you are looking at just the cost of the hat. Many people see crimes like that as just the cost of the hat, and certainly the child does.

Unfortunately it isn't just the hat that is part of the expense. The stores have to hire security, or a manager has to neglect other duties to handle the situation, detain the suspect, fill out police reports, fill out product loss statements for the company, etc. The company in turn has to develop additional security devices for their products that actually drive the prices of the product up in the first place.

The police have to come pick up (or sometimes spend hours looking for) the suspect, process them, contact the parents, then send the paperwork off to the prosecutors who have to set up the court date, possibly pre-trial hearings, and finally the suspect has to appear before the judge.

If we say for the purpose of this example that the average hourly rate for the store security / manager, parents, judge, police officer(s), clerks, and prosecutors is $30 per hour, that's an additional $300ish in intangible costs for the crime of stealing a $20 hat. That equates to 40 hours of community service; and in addition to just sentencing, the juvenile should have all of that explained to them, how their actions cost everyone involved, make the product inherently more expensive, take valuable resources (police) away from potentially more serious crimes, and back log the city itself with work.

That is what an article about juvenile prosecution should address... the way the cases are resolved; because frankly they didn't get arrested for sitting on their front porch doing their homework. You can't make excuses for bad behavior, or blame the police for enforcing the law, but you can make sure that when warranted, the punishment provides a learning situation and possibility for growth of character.

OK, so this has drug on long enough, 15th asked a question that has so many facets it would take a small book to address in it's entirety, and frankly I don't have the time. One thing is certain, whether you like the message or not, whether you think I have a superiority complex or not, everyone reading this recognizes that the majority of what I have said is true... even if they don't want to hear it.


Subtle- if you are going to post information as fact- please make sure it's accurate.

Did you just make up the term "substantial academic scholarship"?

It's just laughable to say more athletic scholarships are award than academic. I won't even waste time discussing that because actual facts (not anecdotal evidence of being at a whopping 3 awards ceremonies in 5 years) prove otherwise.

However, you seem to just cast aside CSU's "green and gold scholarship" of $2,000 per year, presumably, because it's only $2,000 per year. Did you happen to take the time to see what CSU's tutition even is? I'm sure you would be surprised to learn CSU's full-time tuition AND fees (for 15 credit hours) is $4,656 per semester for $9,312 per year. A $2,000 annual scholarship is 21% of the tuition. Pretty substantial portion, I'd say.

But carry on regarding your rants of Sandusky v. Perkins.


Wow, citizen, I posted the source link for the listing of all (and I am going to capitalize this because you clearly didn't use the reference link or read their scholarship page before replying) COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY's scholarships. I'll post it again for good measure (wouldn't want you to have to scroll up or have to read the original post):

I capitalized COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY because by stating their tuition is $9,312 I think you have clearly shown us you simply saw CSU and maybe assumed it was Cleveland State University and didn't read the original post thoroughly before whipping out a reply.

Now let's address your statements point by point:

1) "Did you just make up the term "substantial academic scholarship"?

Yes, as a matter of fact I did. I made up that term to refer to any scholarship that does not provide any substantial financial windfall in the cost of tuition. Your numbers are wrong, and I will provide a link to prove that as well when I address more of your misleading statements.

2) "It's just laughable to say more athletic scholarships are award than academic."

If you actually read that post I conceded that technically CSU does give more academic scholarships, both in terms of total dollar expenditures (18.9 million more to be exact) and in total scholarships granted. In fact, I even stated that there were exactly 36 more substantial academic scholarships given than athletic.

3) "I won't even waste time discussing that because actual facts (not anecdotal evidence of being at a whopping 3 awards ceremonies in 5 years) prove otherwise."

I did not use any anecdotal evidence in the calculations. I explicitly stated that since the reference source that listed all CSU scholarships ONLY listed "full-ride" athletic scholarships, those 208 full-ride scholarships were the only ones used in my calculations.

I also stated "CSU lists no trivial athletic scholarships, but from my limited experiences at the 3 awards ceremonies, I do know that at least some colleges do offer low dollar (less than $5000) athletic scholarships." On a personal note here, I'd certainly question the assumptions of anyone who believes Colorado State ONLY offers full-ride athletic scholarships; however, since that information was not available on the reference page, it was not included in my real-world example. I only posted facts that I could prove and provide reference links for.

I will also say that anyone reading this who has attended an awards ceremony for ANY local high school has also witnessed the handing out of 'low-dollar' and 'partial' athletic scholarships; so we can safely assume they do exist; regardless of whether I used them in my calculations.

4) "However, you seem to just cast aside CSU's "green and gold scholarship" of $2,000 per year, presumably, because it's only $2,000 per year. Did you happen to take the time to see what CSU's tutition [sic] even is?"

I sure did. I even used their tuition calculator that factors in some grants. The link to that calculator is:

5) "I'm sure you would be surprised to learn CSU's full-time tuition AND fees (for 15 credit hours) is [sic] $4,656 per semester for $9,312 per year."

You are right; I would be surprised, because that information is simply not true. Using their calculator, I found that the tuition (for an 18 yr old, out of state, unmarried, student who is not the primary source of financial support for any children, who is from a 4 person family with a single child applying for college and a combined income of $50- $60 thousand dollars per year, and who has applied for financial aid, is actually:

*Estimated tuition and fees ........................... $23,740

*Estimated room and board charges ..................... $9,528
(Includes rooming accommodations and meals)

*Estimated cost of books and supplies ................. $1,126

*Estimated other expenses ............................. $2,368
(Personal expenses, transportation, etc.)

*Estimated total cost of attendance: .................. $36,762

*Estimated total grant aid: ........................... $2,800
(Includes both merit and need based grant and
scholarship aid from Federal, State, or Local
Governments, or the Institution)

Estimated Net Price After Grants and Scholarships: .... $33,962

That is for a single year based off the previous year's attendance costs of all students meeting the demographic criteria above. Of course you could manipulate that into a lower number if you were to say that your child is married and the primary source of payment for a child; but we'll leave the debate about how responsible those situations would be for another day.

6) "A $2,000 annual scholarship is 21% of the tuition. Pretty substantial portion, I'd say."

The $2000 scholarship you feel is so substantial is more accurately roughly 21% of the student's ESTIMATED ROOM AND BOARD expenses for a single year. Unfortunately, it only amounts to 5.9% of the student's total expenses for a single year (based off expense estimates as determined by expense averages from the 2011-2012 school year and assuming no inflation of cost). Fairly INSUBSTANTIAL I'd say.

So now having corrected all of your fallacies, I have a question for you:

When you put this misinformation up did you...

A) Blindly post without reading any of the reference links or looking up any facts yourself in hopes that everyone reading would follow your lead and blindly take your information as fact?

B) Intentionally provide misinformation, miscalculations and falsehoods in attempts to mislead anyone too busy to fact check your reply?

C) Actually assumed the college in question was Cleveland State University ignoring "let me elaborate using the 2013-14 financial numbers from Colorado State University" found in the very first sentence of my reply and the link to Colorado State's website?

citizen- "if you are going to post information as fact- please make sure it's accurate."


Those of you that honestly think that Chapman and Ahner are saying NO to the levy are being fooled. They want votes from the NO people and they think this is a way to win them. At least the other two are honest and I respect that whether I am a levy supporter or not.


Curious? When did Chapman ever say he was a NO to levy voter?


Oh boy, Subtble. Why in the world you started talking about Cleveland State, I have no clue.

I, too, was referencing Colorado State. As my post stated, for the 2013-14 school year, tuition and fees for a full-time undergrad is $4,656 per semester or $9,312 per year.

That is the link. Not sure where you are getting your information, but it is unforunately incorrect. By the way, why in the world are you talking about Colorado St to try to make a point regarding Sandusky and Perkins high school students?