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
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

Comments

TrollingRageind...

"Let the Honda and Toyota supporters pay,"
Unfortunately, it's Honda and Toyota opening factories in America, and not America car companies.
GM is building a $1.3 billion factory in China, while Honda and Toyota, the foreign companies, are opening factories in America. Unfortunately our government used our tax dollars to bail out struggling companies, GM included, for their own failures.

Vote4Perkins

Its not just sports and Chinese...its is Physical Education, Music, Art, Computers, Gifted Education, Guidance Councilors....Could you imagine going to school without these classes?

yesshedid

FORYOURINFORMATION and GOD OF THUNDER: did you even bother to come to the meeting last night?? Doesn't sound like it. PLEASE inform yourself before you go spouting off like you are an expert on this matter! Don't punish the kids because you don't like Gunner or the Board. "We" put the board in place therefore WE hired Gunner. If you don't like it, vote someone else in next time. Don't make the kids suffer!

Foryourinformation

Yesshedid: "FOR YOUR INFORMATION", you don't know if I was at the meeting last night or not, and I don't have to answer to you as to who or what issue I vote for any time I go to the voting polls. So before you "spout off at the mouth," why don't you inform yourself before you get on this blog speaking out of turn as to where I was, my knowledge of the situation(s) at hand, and what or who I vote for. I don't have to defend my point to you, but I will say again...it's not the taxpayers of the Perkins Community that are making "the kids suffer," but the over 300 families that live outside the Perkins District who don't pay taxes to the school system but to the school system in the community they live in, but are expecting the Perkins residence to make up for their kids attending. If you are on an already tight budget in your home and taking care of your family on the income you have, are you going to take on someone elses kids without the extra necessary means to do so. I don't think so! It will take away from your own childrens livelihood and the extras that you are saving for them to have the necessities and extras that you would provide. My point is...instead of draining a well that is already dry from the Perkins taxpayers, replenish that well with a tuition for those students who do not live in the Perkins District and pay taxes so that the students and families of the Perkins Community "do not suffer" any more because of this disaster that was created by Gunner and his crew. Yes...Gunner is to blame in many ways and he will NOT be affected if this levy fails again because OH...HE DOESN'T LIVE IN THE COMMUNITY EITHER TO PAY A PENNY OF TAXES TO THE DISTRICT!" Now why don't you stop spouting off and get your own self informed!!!

Lynn222

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Perkins2060

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Pirate Mom

The BOE made the decision to go with open enrollment to fill classrooms and bring in much needed money that 13 years of levy failures did not. What were your reasons for voting no on all of those levies? I voted yes all those years and will vote yes on August 6.

bobshumway92

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.

RMyer

Not "blackmail"-the result of 18 years with only 2.9 mills in additional operating funds coupled with massive state cuts to local school districts ($2,000,000 and counting for ours) that will not be sent back under the current state administration. The district has done a lot of work to increase revenues and control expenses. We are 14 mills under the state average, 7 mills under the next lowest district in the area. During the 18 year period other districts have passed additional operating levies (1 other local district has passed 26 mills in additional levies during the past 18 years).

Perkins spends less administrative dollars per student than other local districts. Spend a couple of weeks at the middle school, and you will understand why an assistant principal is needed there (and at the high school). Middle school and high school students come with a lot of issues that have to be addressed; wouldn't be possible for one administrator to handle that plus all of the other daily operational functions and do it to any degree of effectiveness.

The levy amount continues to go up because of the timing. The longer and bigger the deficit spending occurs, the greater the levy amount becomes. It will continue to rise the longer it is put off. Happens in every district in the state. If the state comes in, the amount of the levy will still increase until one is passed (research what happened in Huron, Lorain and other districts under fiscal emergency).

The board members all live in Perkins and are making decisions that affect their school age children as well (four have children in the district currently). They are not "blackmailing" themselves; doesn't make sense. In the past 18 years, levies have failed under superintendents who have lived here and who haven't; the board makes the final decisions about school operations and facilities, not the superintendents. Personally, I believe this board has attempted to put the best programs and least costly options in front of the community. They stepped up to run for office and have attempted to keep the district as one of the best in the area. Now, they need some financial assistance from the community.

Wald

Of course you believe in this BOE, since you teach in Perkins. Kind of nullifies your objectivity, wouldn't you say?

Perkins2060

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asecretlife

Mr. Myer being a teacher doesn't nullify the simple facts that he is stating.

"We are 14 mills under the state average, 7 mills under the next lowest district in the area.levies during the past 18 years)......
Perkins spends less administrative dollars per student than other local districts.
The levy amount continues to go up because of the timing. The longer and bigger the deficit spending occurs, the greater the levy amount becomes. It will continue to rise the longer it is put off. Happens in every district in the state. If the state comes in, the amount of the levy will still increase until one is passed (research what happened in Huron, Lorain and other districts under fiscal emergency)."

Finn Finn

Well it is a lot easier to support new taxes when your salary has gone up by almost 23% in the last five years. While the rest of us are struggling with stagnate wages (I haven't had a raise in 7 years) coupled with inflation, Mr. Myer's salary has gone from $43,766.00 in 2007 to $57,086.00 in 2012. I think some of these teachers just don't have a clue how fortunate they are. They can't comprehend that the rest of us aren't getting double digit raises. AND WE WORK 12 MONTHS OF THE YEAR!!

Nemesis

"the result of 18 years with only 2.9 mills in additional operating funds coupled with massive state cuts to local school districts "

WRONG. It's the result of siphoning off a huge chunk of the operating funds into an earmarked slush fund for a new building that isn't needed.

bobshumway92

Gunners talking points.

SPEEDY GONZALEZ

I DONT EVEN LIVE IN THIS DISTRICT OR HAVE KIDS THAT ATTEND THERE, BUT IT SEEMS THAT AT ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT (ELECTED OFFICIALS) THAT THERE IS A GROSS ABUSE OF THEIR POWERS. IF THEY DONT GET WHAT THEY WANT, THEY BLACKMAIL OR MAKE THREATS! WHAT PEOPLE NEED TO DO IS HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE AND GET RID OF THESE LOWLIFES. SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO DOES IN MARRICOPA COUNTY AND GETS RESULTS. I WOULD VOTE FOR SOMEONE WHO CAN STREAMLINE EXPENSES AND GET THINGS DONE AND DONE RIGHT! ISNT THIS WHAT WE ELECT AND PAY THEM FOR? HOW ABOUT SOME REAL SOLUTIONS AND ANSWERS TO THE PROBLEMS THAT CONTINUE TO PLAGUE NOT ONLY THE PERKINS DISTRICT, BUT ALL SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN OHIO.

asecretlife

Please stop yelling!

eddiec1985

Speedy - obviously you have no idea what is going on. Perkins has "streamlined expenses". The State continues to cuts funding and refuses to change the way schools are funded even though it has been ruled unconstitutional FOUR times!

Nemesis

They streamlined revenues from the operating budget to their slush fund for their self-aggrandizing building project, in direct defiance of the will of the voters to whom they are properly subordinate, and now they further refuse to take no for an answer.

bobshumway92

Gunners talking points.

Vote4Perkins

First of all, if you haven't been to any of the meetings and you are believing the banter on here...wow. Please be informed.

Perkins2060

I love the teachers and staff posting on here trying to save their jobs. They should be focusing on how to get rid of Gunner.

Foryourinformation

So true, Perkins2060! Oh, but let "yesshedid" tell it, we are "spouting off at the mouth and misinformed." It's not making the kids suffer...it's about their own fear of not having a job. Make the over 300 kids pay a set tuition to attend.

yesshedid

I was at the meeting last night. Had you been there, you would have heard that it is illegal to have the open enrollment kids pay tuition. I, too, am on a tight budget, however, I appreciate what the Perkins School system has done for me as well as the people who paid taxes 30-40 years ago when I was in the system. I also know that our future is in the hands of today's students. My child came to Perkins through open enrollment. We have since moved into the township, however, I still feel open enrollment is a great thing. ALL of Perkins finance issues were NOT caused by open enrollment. The open enrollment kids did not require any new teachers; they filled open spots in current classrooms. Stop blaming Gunner and the current board. Blame the State for the funding cuts. If you don't like Gunner and board, vote the board off and instruct YOUR EMPLOYEES to hire someone else.

bobshumway92

Gunners talking points.

eddiec1985

Hey miss information, every open enrolled student adds $5700+ to Perkins Schools while costing MUCH less than that to educate. Open enrolled students are a big plus, financially, socially, and educationally, to Perkins Schools. Please learn the facts before you post again.

bobshumway92

Gunners talking points.

Strong Schools ...

Perkins 2060,

Could you please give me factual information on why you are so against our students? Are you even a community member? I am a community member who believes in my children and believes in the quality education our district offers. Not all of us are teachers. Believe or not...there are community members that support the students.

citizen

No one is against the students.

I am against Gunner and Board not listening to taxpayer when we twice told them NO on new school campus buildings. And then they unethically removed millions of dollars set to educate the students, pay the faculty, pay for athletics/arts etc and moved it to the building fund, essentially bankrupting the school. Taxpayers already said TWICE, NO to new buildings/facilities.

Gunner did not listen. The question is why is Jim Gunner so against the students he chooses buildings over their education... which is exactly what Gunner and the Board did.

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