Perkins Schools levy results

Perkins Schools levy shot down
Melissa Topey
Nov 5, 2013

Perkins Schools 6.73-mill, 10-year levy, with all precincts reporting, according to unofficial results:

AGAINST-2,971

FOR-1,881

Comments

PyrkinsPyrate

No fees for Church Choir, just a 10% flat tax on total income so the pastor can drive a land rover.

Rosa

GET OVER IT!!! We voted NO!!! And we all have our own reasons, it is nobody's business!! Already, most of our tax dollars go to the school! I think it would be great if we could allocate our taxes where we thought they would be best used, after all it is our money. And to those, who are saying we should be paying for their kids to play extra curricular activities, they are your children, you pay for them....Wait until they go to college, you want to see big bills!!!

Thomas Paine

Rosa, You already do allocate where you want your taxes to go, its called voting for or against tax levies. And if its nobody's business why are you telling everyone how you voted? With no extra curricular activities we wont have to worry about college bills for any of the future Perkins graduates. Like I have said earlier the negative tone is blazing a path to a Sandusky/Perkins merger at a much higher cost to those that believe they are being fiscally conservative. The lack of civic mindedness, how self centered and short sighted people are is unbelievable not only in this community but in our country in general. I am appalled education has become such a divisive issue.

Subtle

@Rosa, as Thomas said, if Perkins merges with Sandusky you will be paying 13.58 mil more than you are now. If the levy had passed you would still be paying 6.58 mil less than if we merge with Sandusky.

I don't know how much longer Perkins can hold out without passing a levy... if you think the school can stand with no money from the community, you are delusional, and if you think your tax rate is too much now, wait until it DOUBLES if we have to merge with Sandusky.

fifteenthgreen

So where do we go from here?

Thomas Paine

Depends on what the majority decides. I know how I will continue to vote and I will do what I can to sway others to do the same if they will listen or engage and only if they want to discuss it. I don't like the yes voters who attack the no voters either or are overly aggressive. A public forum for yes and no voters with no politicians or school officials would be a great idea- because in the end I hope most want what is best for the community. Although there are a few posters on here I know for a fact are from other districts that have added false information about our district and wouldn't show up to a forum. I strongly feel the path taken so far will end up in a place neither side wants to be. All I ask is your vote isn't made out of just anger. There are many no voters that I completely understand their stance and if I was in their position I would do the same. There are many yes voters I want to smack in the face as they are just as bad as the no substance no voters. I try to take centrist point of view and get past the differences and actually find a solution that will work for both sides. If we don't settle those differences and soon there will be nothing left to argue about.

fifteenthgreen

Right, but at this stage of the game it is going to take more than pushing the same message. That isn't working and we're going backwards at the polls. A lesser millage? Administrative moves? A different building plan? Moving millage back? Please add to it.

Thomas Paine

Unfortunately I don't think there is a different message, A lesser millage cant happen- the school is operating at a deficit, moving the millage back will not help next year, will cost us a LOT more money in the future, and once we have that money will be gone with the deficit spending unless the school cuts more. At that point not only does the school not have any funds to operate but they just blew through any funds they had to maintain the buildings. The millage move was in fact the correct move, it protects the funds to maintain or build at a lower cost to the homeowners than a separate building levy would cost us, and it emphasizes the fact operation funds are going to be gone soon. Without the millage move the school more than likely would have had funds for 2 more years, while letting the buildings further decay. The main issue is the community has not passed a levy in 13 years..there is no other way to state it or put it. We have NOT supported the schools- general costs have risen- employees, health, utilities. Technology and the need to upgrade it has added costs all during a downturn in the economy where property value has dropped and state funding has dropped. Nobody wants to actually admit to the truth. Every school district that lacks community support is going through the same issues. It doesn't matter who the board hires as the next super or actually who is on the board if the community doesn't step up and do what it needs to do. A different building plan should have been discussed (maybe it was) speculating again... back in 2008. In my opinion shooting for the moon was a HUGE mistake.

Thomas Paine

I understand people want a different message. But the community telling the school in 2000 I gave you $1.50 for a gallon of gas for the school bus so you need to figure out a way to get the same amount of gas today for the bus with that $1.50, and if you cant do it you have mismanaged funds and I will find someone that can get that gallon of gas for $1.50. It just doesn't add up.

Thomas Paine

Politically speaking- and I don't think it will do anything other than change voter morale Gunner needs to step down or move on. As long as he is around the no votes will continue. Him leaving will cost the district more money, will not change the actual problems, but may move enough votes over. The new super will have the same problems but its pretty clear its something that needs to happen to get a Levy passed. I don't agree with it because its not solving anything.

fifteenthgreen

I'm with you here but the new superintendent will have to have to be of such character and strong presence that the community will buy into their message. It may very well be the same message but I agree, a change will have to occur. Sounds dumb, but it happens every day in all facets of life...especially government.

Has anyone connected with the No campaign to see just exactly what it is going to take?

Thomas Paine

That's the problem. There hasn't been a clear message of what they truly want. The only thing I have gotten out of them is there is no need for additional funds, new buildings, or cuts to programs, or pay to play fees with no explanation or plan of how that is going to work or happen. If they had a plan that showed they have done some research, understood school funding and the topics or even board operations, I would listen. Even their candidates for the board couldn't answer those questions. I have a huge issue with that.

Thomas Paine

My other issue with the no campaign is the only clear message they have sent is wanting a new BOE and new super. My question has always been "Then what?" What is a new BOE and new super going to do differently? And how are they going to accomplish that? My belief has always been a new BOE and new super will send the same message out because the system they work within is broken from the state down. The no group appears to think the rules don't apply to them and changes can be made to funding rules on a local level. Or maybe its just the no group doesn't know school funding rather then thinking the rules don't apply to them. I don't know. Maybe my perception of them is wrong but from their comments in the register, to the blog comments here, and the debates with their candidates that were not prepared on any of the issues, its hard for me to think otherwise.

fifteenthgreen

I really think the district wants a larger voice, though. Leaders that will stand up at meetings and not stay seated in their chair. Show strength and command of their message. Educate those with less knowledge than they in the inner workings of a school district. Look them in the eye and tell them. I hate websites for this very reason. Shake hands. Gain their trust and support by building personal relationships with families. I know companies larger than the amount of people that voted and CEOs that try and connect with every single entity of their corporation. If you can't get to everyone, then you build very strong layers of trustworthy people working your way down to each and every person...and every person is equal to the next. We need to lose the graphs, websites, charts, statistics, thirty page comments and comparisons and build relationships. That can't be done on I-80.

Thomas Paine

Agree with that too. I have suggested the message be simpler and more concise to the board and some others in the district. The problem is there is so much distrust with ANY elected officials that task would be a daunting. What I can't figure out is if the lack of trust is because of a lack of leadership or if it is because peoples general nature now is not to trust anyone in "power". A trickle down effect from federal politics and distrust maybe? Or maybe its a combination of both.

Thomas Paine

Speculating again but Gunner leaving is probably the least expensive of the non solutions of real problems to get votes for the Levy.

fifteenthgreen

Least expensive but probably won't be enough.

Thomas Paine

Agreed. What do you think needs to be done?

fifteenthgreen

The number of people against keeps growing....not sure anymore. I'm trying to connect with those that are heading up the campaign against this to see exactly what it is they want. Gunner leaving will not be enough. The millage move has already happened and can't be reversed. It's all in the same pot, anyway. You say a smaller millage isn't the answer. They have asked for that. Pay to play fee reductions? I think a stronger leadership presence may help but the message will be the same. Getting the NO campaigns endorsement will go a long way because I have never seen it this bad when it is actually organized. They need to be met with and heard. Everyone says it's not about the money.

Thomas Paine

I don't buy that its not about the money. I would guess that half of their group that had signs out, it is about the money and not wanting to pay for something they feel they don't get a benefit from personally.

Thomas Paine

I also get the feeling that even they don't know what they want in the end. That is what scares me the most.

fifteenthgreen

Trying to consolidate the arguments:

Cost - Size of millage
Superintendent change
Board of Education changes
Move millage back
Pay to Play fees eliminated or reduced
New school
Repair current schools
District Report card results
Merge with Sandusky
?

Some of these go hand in hand, I guess.

Thomas Paine

From the yes side: (With a few of my opinions thrown in :) )

1)Size of millage will continue to get worse with each levy failure
2)Superintendant change: Pretty certain that will be accomplished
3) BOE changes) 1 new member 1 incumbent (Opinion: I was disappointed in qualifications and knowledge of the new member and the other candidate no voters preferred)
4) Move millage back - Cant happen without incurring more cost
5) Pay to play reduced- Maybe it can be reduced but other cuts will have to be made elsewhere.
6) Repair schools- With what money? Building new is significantly cheaper in long term.
7) Results of report cards - Strictly my opinion We are transitioning from an educated industry town with higher paid college educated positions, to less educated lower paying tourist jobs without college educations. The families and workers with those lower paying jobs coming in have different family values and place less value on education which directly effects district score cards. Its unfair to judge this administration or its board without looking at the overall makeup of the student body. Subtle has commented on this and is much more knowledgeable than I am on the subject.
8) Merger with Sandusky. If that is the end game it will cost Perkins tax payers significantly more money. My opinion: This scenario may actually be the best long term solution for both communities.

fifteenthgreen

No sides anymore. The resolution side.

Question on 8. If we hypothetically merged, the obvious is the size of the new school district grows. The population of taxpayers grows, as well. All resources would be combined. Wouldn't this be cheaper in the long run? Also, what would be the total district size in regard to student population. Both districts have shrunk substantially in size over the last thirty years. If both combined, I bet the numbers would still be smaller than Sandusky carried only a few decades ago. I'm just curious.

Thomas Paine

Great questions, maybe someone on here can supply data? I agree, I think combining would help the community grow in the long run and be cheaper. Short term the millage for the school would make things more expensive to individuals. I would also agree that the numbers would probably be similar size wise. I do think the fight to combine all resources would get much uglier than the debate on school funding. For it to happen the school would have to go first- The school is really the only identity Perkins has, if that were gone the transition would be better. Personally I have never understood why Perkins people think they are better than Sandusky in the first place. The Hamptons comment on one of these blog posts earlier made me chuckle.

fifteenthgreen

I'll make some calls and see if we can't break down the numbers by grade. Subtle and Centauri seem to be the google/research specialists on here. I'm sure data could be compiled on property revenue, etc. but they may not be for the idea. Again, I'm just throwing it out there for discussion. We can all keep beating each other up over the same topics and arguments, but in the end some sort of resolution has to occur. State intervention is not too far off. I wonder if the two school districts have sat down for discussions. I know other resources have.

Many at Perkins don't really know the Sandusky of old and what a great system it once was. Huge. I also like the direction they're heading in but it will never be same. Perkins has to concede it no longer is the district it once was due to losses in manufacturing which are beyond its control, as well. A thriving New Departure really helped us. Like Davis Besse was/is to Oak Harbor. Maybe combining would make one great system? Even combined, they would be small compared to many other districts in the state. Makes one think!!!

Thomas Paine

Appreciate the civility during this conversation! Sandusky has been a great system, and I do like their direction as well, although I do have to say Perkins was at the forefront of some of the ideas that are now happening at Sandusky. :) They may be able to see the ideas through with their levy passage. Glad to see others are open to discussing issues and ideas even if we may disagree on the approach to get there.

fifteenthgreen

It started out this way but worsened as time went by. I hope more engage in the positive discussion to seek out a resolution. Sandusky folks, as well!

http://high-schools.com/report/o...

Sandusky High - 1206 students Ranked 134

Perkins High - 759 students Ranked 285

Total combined - 1965 students Rank would be 27th in the state

Still trying to find the other grade sizes for comparison. I can't believe SHS is that small now. Used to be 2,500 strong! This has to answer a lot of questions as to what is going on in our area as a whole.

Thomas Paine

Open enrollment has really hurt Sandusky.

fifteenthgreen

True. Ironically, we all use Sandusky as our address but the division between both communities has been strong over the years.

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