School board cuts $2 million from budget

Sports and extracurricular activities dominated discussions Wednesday evening as Perkins Schools leaders agreed to hike pay-to-participate fees and eliminate 15 staff members.
Alissa Widman Neese
Jun 13, 2013

The topic was fitting for the packed Perkins High School auditorium, where more than 200 people cheered on their side of a contentious levy debate with applause and praise.

Reductions approved Wednesday totaled about $2 million, a result of a failed May levy and state funding cuts, board members said.

Pay-to-participate fees for high school students increased to $730 per sport for the upcoming school year, up from $150 approved in April. Costs for dual enrollment classes, clubs and music activities also increased substantially for high school and middle school students.

“I don’t approve of this, and I don’t think you guys understand,” a mother shouted from the back of the crowded auditorium. “I want my son’s senior year to be a good one, not ‘mom and dad couldn’t pay for me to play my sports.’”

Board president Matt Koisor told parents no board members think the cuts are a good idea, however, they do recognize their necessity.

“Unfortunately we only have a certain amount of money to balance our budget,” Koisor said. “None of these cuts are cuts we want to make.”

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If township voters approve the district’s August levy, the reductions could be reversed and pay-to-participate fees will return to normal, superintendent Jim Gunner said. The district is proposing a 10-year, 6.73-mill levy, nearly 2 mills larger than its May proposal.

Before Wednesday’s cuts, Perkins Schools was projecting a $2.3 million deficit for the upcoming school year, with a budget of about $21 million, according to its most recent five-year financial forecast. It was set to spend all its reserve cash by 2015.

In early April, board members approved two rounds of permanent cuts totaling $12 million for the next four years. 

In addition to sports fees, several parents also voiced concerns Wednesday about cuts to music and art programming.

Conversation was calm, but tense, until parent Jason Dulaney commanded attention with an objective perspective. He criticized the board’s ineffective communication strategies, but also reprimanded voters for going to the polls without proper knowledge of the issues.

An angry “no” vote doesn’t punish board members or administrators — it only punishes students, said Dulaney, a levy supporter.

“I don’t want you to vote ‘yes’ and I don’t want you to vote ‘no,’” he said. “I just want you to vote informed.”

Levy committee members, many district parents, remained in the auditorium after the meeting to recruit supporters for their cause. They will kick off their campaign with a meeting 7 p.m. Monday in the Perkins High School cafeteria.

Township voters haven’t approved an emergency operating levy for the district since 2000.

Perkins Schools cuts approved

•Furry Elementary School: 3 teachers (art, music, physical education)
•Meadowlawn Intermediate School: 5 teachers (art, music, computer, gifted, physical education)
•Briar Middle School: 2 teachers (computer, music), 1 guidance counselor
•Perkins High School: 2 teachers (health, Chinese)
•District Office: 1 communications director, 1 EMIS secretary, full pay-to-participate fees

TOTAL SAVINGS: About $2 million for upcoming school year

Pay-to-participate fee amounts approved

•High school athletics: $730 per sport
•High school extracurricular clubs: $150 per club
•High school band or choir: $220 per music participation
•Middle school athletics: $185 per sport
•Middle school clubs: $150 per club
•High school dual enrollment classes: $300 per class per semester



WOW!!! Gunner and his crew are not going to stop until they smudge all of the grit and grim of the failed May levy back in the faces of the tax payers. What a vindictive and very vengeful way of saying "I am going to show you all"! Get parents and students more upset than what they are and but also place the blame on them for pulling all of these kids in from outside of the Perkins District and making the tax payers of Perkins pay for them being there. Yeah...I know, their money follows them, but think about you as a parent, can you raise 1 child each year on $5500 dollars. No! There are always undisclosed expenses that comes with every child that will far exceed the planned amount. If all these parents want to live outside the Perkins School zone but attend the schools, have them pay tuition to attend Perkins Schools to make up the difference instead of making the residence of Perkins pay. It's wasn't the choice of the Perkins residence for Gunner and his Board to accept all these open enrolled kids. He even publically admitted "if it wasn't for Sandusky..." well make those parents be the ones to make up the difference. But again...these scare tactics always come out when they want to get their point across and make the citizens pay for not doing what they asked. Gunner and the Board has overstayed their welcome and made some very poor choices relating to the district. You all failed the people...suck it up as a loss...and move on and out for new leadership. Good citizens of Perkins, don't get trapped in their threats and desperate tactics to fulfill their selfish agenda. You will definitely pay them if you fall for it.


I agree. Why don't we ask the residents of Bryan Ohio School District why Gunner is no longer their superintendent. They drove him out of their district. Why do you think he's driving to Perkins daily? Also, Gasteier's position as Communication Director is a made up position so that he can retire with full benefits. I think the residents of Perkins should do their homework before they vote yes on this unnecessary levy. As I stated numerous times, Meadowlawn School runs just fine with one administrator. Why does Gunner insist on having two administrators at Briar School (the amount of students in both school are almost identical). Finn retired last year and was hired back by Gunner and the board at $77,000 and getting his retirement pension. A job reduction at Briar (Finn) could save two teaching positions or be used for something worthwhile. My taxes are almost $6,000 yearly and once again Gunner is still living in his hometown with no plan on moving to Perkins and paying taxes. I wonder what Gunner is paying in taxes? Also, why should we pay for someone elses children to play sports? My children are grown and we did our fair share. Why should I have to pay for someone else's child to play sports? My family have been lifelong members of this community and Perkins graduates. We have a strong bond in this community and it offends me that Gunner wants us to continue to pay more and more when his doesn't live or never will live in Perkins. Go back to where you came from GUNNER, we won't be sad to see you leave just like the residents of Bryan Ohio!


Good points yet you have made several negative comments online about Huron residents who supported the removal of Fred Fox over the last 12 months. Why is it okay for you to be anti-Gunner and to question the "made up" position? Don't you remember criticizing anti-Fox supporters and defending our transportation/maintenance director's position? At least Huron took action - a new superintendent and no more made up position so a close buddy can retire with full benefits. Maybe what your BOE needs is our "three stooges" to clean up your mess !


UgtaBkdnMe:I never defended the transportation director in Huron. However, at least Fred Fox lives in the Huron School District. If Fox and the BOE tried to raise taxes for residents, they too would also be paying them. Gunner is not affected by raising Perkins Township taxes because he doesn't live in Perkins and has no intention of moving. What does he care if we as Perkins residents pay more and more taxes. You're correct, maybe the BOE should consider getting RID of Gunner. Do us all a favor. The problem with that is the Perkins BOE doesn't have enough b_ _ _s to do so!


Ugta, your response assumes Fox and Gunner are identical in their conduct and discounts the possibility that one super's conduct rises to the level of warranting dismissal while the other's does not.

Yes, I know, logic is hard.


Nemesis, I don't know enough about Gunner other than what I read. I am merely pointing out that Boo has made some pretty strong comments about those of us who support the board majority in Huron. I just find it ironic that Boo criticizes your super but thought we Huronites are wrong.


Your response is a classic example of doubling down on not thinking.

You don't need to know ANYTHING about Gunner to see there's nothing ironic about it. We have two different situations, two different sets of circumstances, two different superintendents, two different chains of events, and you can't get your head around someone drawing two different conclusions.

Just because he thinks one superintendent in one district hasn't done anything worthy of dismissal doesn't mean he has to come to the same conclusion for every superintendent in every district until the end of time.

Perhaps a more stark illustration will help you grasp the concept:
If he defended a superintendent who was being threatened with dismissal because he got a parking ticket, would he then be obligated, according to your sense of irony, to then defend another superintendent who murdered a student in front of hundreds of witnesses?


You are thinking too deep here, Nemesis. I find it ironic that Wald was pretty ugly with his words about Huronites but it's ok for him to dislike your super. Here's a thought: maybe the people in Perkins know more about the situation beyond the Register to come to an informed conclusion and the same with the people in Huron. Notice that I never said you have a gem of a superintendent. Again, I find it ironic that he's right about his super and we're wrong about ours. If you don't live in a community, you don't know all of the details!


Putting words in my mouth again. I never said anything ugly about "Huronites" in general. I've commented on the stooges and their vendetta and a few posts from stooge supporters I found ridiculous. You have a real problem with generalizations.

Raoul Duke

Music and art should be eliminated totally and they should add classes on how to handle a weapon, and how to identify illegal aliens and terrorist groups. Otherwise we are just sitting ducks, this generation of pansy artsy hippies.


Sounds legit.

Strong Schools ...


That is a very interesting approach but I don't think this is appropriate for our Furry students or any students for that matter. The Perkins School District provides multiple opportunities for our students to succeed in academics, arts, and athletics. We need to prepare the students for the 21st century and provide a quality education. A lot of our students receive scholarships in all of the three "a" areas. They will have less resources to a scholarship if we cut arts and athletics.

Weapons, aliens, and terrorist groups are not apart of the common core standards. We need to stay focused on our students! Vote Yes!


So they can produce more people like you who don't grasp sarcasm?

Raoul Duke

Football and basketball should still be free since they bring in all that money in ticket sales. Let those pansy golfers, runners and tennis players pay to play.

Raoul Duke

Maybe now those open enrollment kids will go back where they belong and play for free.

God Of Thunder

I don't understand how, in just only 3 months, they are asking for a levy, 2 mills larger than the one in May.. Gee...That's the way to get support..

Strong Schools ...


The millage has gone up because the state is sending out new information about their budget. They have to have their budget in by July 1 but it keeps changing. The state has predicted that we will be receiving less money than what we have already lost. The state has cut 2 million from our district and we could see more loss.


Except all the money they need is right there, sequestered off into a slush fund for building s shiny new building that they don't need.


Even if they moved the millage back, they would still have to ask for a levy in a year...


Gunners talking points.

Pirate Mom

The points made here that don't jive with your position do not necessarily come from ignorant followers of Gunner, teachers, etc. They are our opinions formed by attending meetings, going into the schools to see for ourselves, and fact finding. We have our rights to give pro-levy information the same way you have your right to post your position. We are not going away; we've just decided to become more vocal to support our schools. Vote yes on August 6.


Thank You Pirate Mom

Common Sense

Go to the BOE meetings to ask that question. Become informed! I wanted this published under the head scratcher who asked about getting support. Yet, now I realize that this could fit so many of the "vote no" followers.

Just Thinkin

Can we say BLACKMAIL ,VOTE NO ! My wages were cut by 50% Plus when I was forced to retire from GM,Let the Honda and Toyota supporters pay, I remember when everyone cried about the over paid auto worker, Well ya'll seem to be hurting without them, And I for one WILL NOT pay anymore tax I just can not afford it, As for sports tsk ,tsk Chinese oh well, VOTE NO !, save our lifestyle,take care of #1, We need to vote a new board and get the voter's to revamp the State's funding and tax allotments is what we need to get done.

Strong Schools ...

Our students had nothing to do with the auto workers losing their jobs. I am sorry for your situation but please do not take out on our students.

Majority of the people voted our board members into their positions because we believed they would make the right choices for our district. If you are unhappy, then do not vote for them again when their name is on the ballot. But do not take it out on the students or the teachers.

All we have is our schools! We do not have a community center or something else that defines us. We need to take care of what we have and keep the Perkins Pride.

The state has cut so much from our district and the administration can not control their actions.




They don't need any new millage - they have the money they need right partitioned off in the slush fund earmarked for a new building that isn't needed.


Gunners talking points.

Pirate Mom

The points made here that don't jive with your position do not necessarily come from ignorant followers of Gunner, teachers, etc. They are our opinions formed by attending meetings, going into the schools to see for ourselves, and fact finding. We have our rights to give pro-levy information the same way you have your right to post your position. We are not going away; we've just decided to become more vocal to support our schools. Vote yes on August 6.

Common Sense

Since you were "forced" to retire from GM, why don't you also tell us what your compensaiotn package for retirement was? Locally, many of those workers felt the package was good. Delphi salary retirees weren't so lucky...