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

Comments

Strong Schools ...

We want you to vote to support the students! Gunner and the board will have a job regardless! Take it out on the board in November...not on the students in August!

fifteenthgreen

Maintaining the stadium through operating funds, i.e. insurance, utilities, maintenance, etc.. are the responsibility of the district and forgotten expenses in these campaigns.

bao

so we get new buildings and stable operations, no pay to play and no new levies for ten years for just $25. a month? what a bargain

Cowboy

This is very easy to fix. Get rid of Gunner and most of the board and the voters will come around.

Justme...

I assume you are running in November?

arnmcrmn

No hes just a wanna be cowboy hiding behind a computer name.

VOTENO

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Wald

Ha!

fifteenthgreen

Ok. Thanks.

Strong Schools ...

Stay focused on the students in August...Vote yes!

zachfromsandusky2

Hmmm why don't they ask firelands to pony up somemore money.

character counts

END is not the end, in fact E.N.D. is "Effort Never Dies" and if you get NO in an answer, then remember NO is "Next Opportunity" Always be positive. Well said Thomas Paine. I myself have come to the same conclusions that you have. I couldn't have put it better myself. As a parent, when my child is showing negative behavior...(comparing this to the negative displayed on this blog) I first will ignore his behavior. I will not feed into his behavior, I will not encourage his behavior, nor will I try to ration with him while he is displaying this behavior. The same people are all over every blog, stating the exact same things as they said the first 75 times. They bait people to comment back on their posts so that they have more ammo to fight about another issue. No matter how many times they are informed with facts, personal experiences, ect. they will still continue seek negative attention. The bottom line is some of them are not on this blog to find answers. They are using this blog for their own agenda. They are not here to find a post that will change their mind, or make them see a different perspective. Their mind is already made up. They are simply here to gather negative supporters to validate their own reasoning in thinking they have all of the answers. Keep the positive support coming! Just like Thomas Paine has said above: "To me this is a two part vote- the first part is getting the funding in place. The 2nd part is getting the proper board members to effectively lead the district. " PERKINS STUDENTS YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Wald

You're wrong. My mind is not made up. I would vote yes to a better plan, not a whole brand-new building.

AllTheAnswers

The BOE is not represented by the common man, and they therefore have no common sense. Gunner sold them a bill of goods and they bought; hook, line, and sinker. These collective six operate outside of the reality of Perkins Township. Cant imagine any of them have had their income reduced by 34% as my family has. This really doesn't even come down to the financial end anymore ($25/mo-- duh, assuming every household is the same value-- another lie). it's all about lack of trust and pattern of lies. Even if the levy passes, how can we trust the money will be spent effectively. Your track record tells me you'll blow it! The pattern of deceit and misinformation has caught up to this administration. Excessive/unsubstantiated spending over the past several years puts the district in the position it is in now! No confidence if I give you my ($25/mo, ha!) you'll do the right thing. Forget about a new school for the time being and educate the kids. Even in tough financial times, EHOVE can pass a levy. Why? There is TRUST in the information they supply. This is NOT about the kids (dear junior, it'll cost you $730 to play JV soccer this year), this is about one man's WANT-- a new school of which he'll contribute $0 to while making >$125,000 from the taxpayers he arrogantly refuses to listen to.

Bherrle

How is the BOE not represented by the common man? They are elected! If they are not a representive group, then it is the voters (and those who did not vote) fault!

underthebridge

This current BOE has a strategy of having members resign early, then hand selecting their replacement. When the next election comes, the person is seen as an incumbent regardless of only having 2 or 3 months experience.

whitlanabrock

I see Perkins cut the Middle School gifted program, here is a link to the Regional Center for Advanced Academic Studies, this is an OUSTANDING program for our area gifted children!

http://www.scs-k12.net/regionalc...

RMyer

The middle school gifted program is still in place. The gifted position at Meadowlawn was eliminated. The regular and multi-age programs are still in place at Meadowlawn also.

419Bearcat

"In politics...shared hatreds are almost always the basis of friendships." - Alexis de Tocqueville

Grandiose quote aside, it does seem to fit very well at this moment. I have talked to both supporters of this levy and those opposed. One common thread does seem to exist: almost no one supports certain recent actions of the board and superintendant to make the financial issues worse.

These are facts: the stadium is built, the loans are outstanding, and state support continues to decline. Blame can certainly be given to administrators for their part.

But support or oppose, this levy vote will not solve that problem. The current financial situation is real, regardless of who created it. And at its core, any levy outcome changes the direction and educational impact of a district. That is certain.

The conversation has degraded into an argument about which group is more upset about the board. Can we agree that everyone is upset? For the sake of our kids, our little brothers and sisters, and each one's development at the most crucial time of their lives, we instead need to talk about what's best for them.

I for one have no continuing support of this board and will work to remove them from office come election time.

But in order to secure the resources for both the future administration to thrive and my children to grow to their full potential, I will vote YES on this levy - as much as I can't stand the individuals behind it.

Strong Schools ...

Thanks Bearcat for staying focused on what August is really about!

Cowboy

VOTE NO AGAIN!

Cowboy

FORCE GUNNER TO RESIGN!

arnmcrmn

And then what? There will still be shortages and the schools will still need money. The only way you will be happy is if the schools blow up and all the kids have to go somewhere else.

The only people who suffer are the school kids.

Cowboy

...and then the voters will be back. As long as Gunner is in charge Perkins voters will NOT pass a school levy! This is fact no matter how you look at it!

RMyer

Just out of curiosity how do you explain 18 years with only one 2.9 mill additional money passed while surrounding districts pass theirs (some sooner that later, but pass eventually)? That's a number of different superintendents and board members to be upset with over the years.

Sabrina

As a graduate of Perkins Schools...it is the students I feel sorry for. I did activities and as I figure it I would have cost my parents about 7,975 dollars to do the sports & activities that I did in middle school and high school. I can pretty much guarantee that all of the extra things I did, the fun ones (Spanish Club, Varsity P, my horrible attempt at Middle School track) would never have happened.

Cutting art, music, PE, gifted (above mentioned fees)...scare tactics just make people angry they don't change NO votes into YES votes.

VOTENO

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RMyer

I am really curious about this whole open enrollment issue. It is a fact that that money has bolstered our finances for five years. Every district in the area was open enrollment before Perkins. Several years ago the community was encouraging the district to "act like a business." We did; we went out and increased our customer base as any business attempts to do. We improved the financial standing of the district for several years, and yet, our district is now criticized for open enrollment.

Also, does it bother anyone that for years there have been Perkins students who have enrolled in other districts taking the state money with them. Back as far as ten years ago, our district was losing in the area of $300,000 as students left for other districts which were open enrollment. Last year, I think there were 60 or so resident students who left for other districts. It doesn't make financial sense to me to ignore this source of revenue (no business would refuse the opportunity to increase revenues to the extent open enrollment has as well as to offset losses to other districts).

RMyer

I am really curious about this whole open enrollment issue. It is a fact that that money has bolstered our finances for five years. Every district in the area was open enrollment before Perkins. Several years ago the community was encouraging the district to "act like a business." We did; we went out and increased our customer base as any business attempts to do. We improved the financial standing of the district for several years, and yet, our district is now criticized for open enrollment.

Also, does it bother anyone that for years there have been Perkins students who have enrolled in other districts taking the state money with them. Back as far as ten years ago, our district was losing in the area of $300,000 as students left for other districts which were open enrollment. Last year, I think there were 60 or so resident students who left for other districts. It doesn't make financial sense to me to ignore this source of revenue (no business would refuse the opportunity to increase revenues to the extent open enrollment has as well as to offset losses to other districts).

VOTENO

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