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

.

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

.

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

.

Trump

Really? Hmm .. well I guess they did act like a business. They wanted a laptop based STEM program that costs $2.5mm/yr and ... let's see .. open enrollment brings in about ... $2.5mm/yr. Coincidence? Maybe .. but it's a zero sum transaction so quit saying open enrollment bolstered the district. The only thing it did was hurt our real home values (despite what the Erie County Tax Assessment says) since you no longer have to live in Perkins to attend Perkins schools. I know for a fact there are families that moved out of Perkins to cheaper housing in Sandusky and kept their kids in Perkins via open enrollment. Sorry but that is just plain wrong!

Here's a little financial advice you can give your students next year - don't buy a Escalade when you need the money to buy groceries! Better yet, give that advice to Dr. Gunner and the BOA!

Bherrle

Do you live in Perkins VOTENO?

VOTENO

Proud Perkins resident

Bherrle

Good. I disagree with you and others logic on taking your kids out of Perkins, but I respect that as your decision.

arnmcrmn

The days of communities supporting the schools are over with. Its a ME society. If there isn't anything in it for ME, then they won't get my vote.

Funny but these NO voters would be voting YES if they had a few kids in school.

OH-IO

That's just it they don't have kids in the system. As a citizen you have to respect that and that they don't want to pay more taxes. I myself vote to pass a levy but just because I will doesn't make people who don't wrong. It's a vote of the community. Most suburbs in Ohio also vote no. I think it's selfish but hey you choose to live amongst them.

Bherrle

ARNMCRMN - I agree that the lack of civic responsibility is concerning, downright frightening, but I think we need to be careful about making broad statements like "no voters would vote yes if they had kids in school."

I am currently a yes vote for the levy. But I know folks with kids who are currently no's, as well as I know older folks, kids out of school or no kids, who will vote yes. Let's not create undue animosity by pigeon holing people.

44870 South

That is inaccurate...we are in our early 40's, have children in the Perkins School System and do not agree with what is going on. We are open-enrolling next year. We've had enough.

Finn Finn

Bherrle - if you are concerned about undue animosity by pigeon holing people, don't start your comment with an inflammatory statement, ("I agree that the lack of civic responsibility is concerning, downright frightening"). You're doing the exact same thing you claim you're trying to avoid. Very contradictory.

Edwin Ison

When will the new building be built? Is it at the point of "financial stability?
Define "financial stability".
I predict that Gunner is the sole individual who will determine "financial stability".
I also predict the levy passage will meet Gunners definition of "financial stability" and the construction will commence next spring.
I also predict commencement of construction will necessitate a new levy request fall of 2014.

Thomas Paine

arnmcrmn Agree- Civic responsibility has ceased to exist. I am glad the greatest generation of americans didn't act like the selfish children we have become during WWII.

VOTENO

.

Finn Finn

T.P. - you are incredibly judgmental. 69% of my property tax dollars goes to the school district, and I'M selfish? If you want Billy and Sally to be able to "play sports", pony up the money yourself and stop looking to me for more.

stayfit

Your property value decreases every time you vote no. You are uninformed and you have no commitment to the community or the well-being of its students.

Finn Finn

Your comment is foolish and unworthy of my time or rebuttal.

44870 South

WOW...I just talked to a "bottom of the totem-pole" Perkins teacher who has zip seniority and received a RIF notice in May. Just found out they will be returning to to work after all. It's a miracle!!! Don't cave to the threats people...of the 15 staff they rifted, they'll call back 14. Levy or no levy....seen it happen a thousand times.

Ibelieve2

This is very interesting but do realize the domino effect that takes place during the RIF process. This is not a sign that all is well and everyone will be returning to their job.

Strong Schools ...

44870 South...You have got to get your facts straight. People get their jobs back due to attrition, retirements, in house transfers..etc. Please call the board office and get the facts! There is more than one teacher who has lost their job. I feel bad if anyone loses their job! You are making yourself look ridiculous!

MrGadfly

Thomas,

This blog is a part of civil responsibility. People are exploring different thoughts rather than rubber stamping a school board and administration's ideas as the only option.

Should people have the right to vote on decisions effecting their lives? This is nothing more than a vetting process needed at all levels of government to make sure it's the people's choice not just the elected officials choice.

With the present funding switch in millage the school board and superintendent are trying to eliminate the voting process in regards to permanent improvement decisions.

Is that what you want ? Are you willing to sacrifice the public's vote on building issues forever to pass this levy?

I know of an alternative building plan that allows public participation in the size and scope of the school. The superintendent has ignored an discussion on the proposal. It's his way or no way.

The board and superintendent has placed the community in a "lose, lose" situation by their continual disregard of the public's interest. You now must decide if you will accept the loss of $3 million dollars in not needed design work or $50 million dollars for a school not wanted by the public. There are no other options do to the inability of the superintendent and school board to pay attention to the public's wishes. It's the legacy they will have to live with.

RMyer

I have attended most of the board meetings for a number of years. What is this other building plan and how would it be paid for?

MrGadfly

RMyer,

This idea is not mine. It comes from a Perkins citizen who believes in education but does not believe in the direction of the superintendent or school board. He no longer comments on this to protect his family from unwanted hostility.

Let me see if I can explain. This funding process for a possible new building is still the responsibility of the community but the final cost and secondary education options are decided by the community not the school board or superintendent.

First there is the cost of a basic building to house minimal educational requirements by the state. Lets for argument sake say this building cost $20 million dollars. Off this main building are wings that house"specials". Music, Art, Gymnasium, Natatorium, Technology and Auditorium. The cost of these wings would show up as an independent cost which voters could make decisions on. So the voting public could vote to approve the basic building or any combination of the basic and the "special wings". So the cost could be $20 million dollars or up to $50 million dollars depending on what is approved at the voting booth. This concept has been approved by the local board of elections and the Secretary of State of Ohio. Again, these numbers are not exact, they are for example purposes only.

What is the value of this proposal? It eliminates some hostility between the voting public and public officials. It allows the voting public the option of what they want in a new school. It eliminates an "all or nothing mentality" of today's board and superintendent. The basic building can be built at a reduced cost and wings can be added when the community feels they are justified.

There are other options than the "$50 million dollar only one" proposed by the school board and superintendent.

My friend has attempted numerous times to discuss this other option. All of his overtures have been rebuffed by the superintendent.

The school board talks a big talk about being open to new ideas but they don't walk the walk.

underthebridge

BINGO!!!!

Strong Schools ...

This levy is not about buildings. It is about keeping the programs we have and providing a quality education!

character counts

lmao...vote no..I don't feel that comprehension is your strong point. Why don't you just stick to VOTE NO. That is enough for you to comprehend. If you notice you just agreed with Thomas Paine and arnmcrmn. Go back and re-read their posts a few times, and you will totally understand that they just posted something you have been opposed to through all of your posts. Nicely said Thomas Paine and anmcrmn! ( I on the other hand read, understand, and COMPLETELY AGREE with both of your posts!

Wald

You missed the point of Vote No's post, and yet insult him for having a comprehension problem. How ironic.

UgtaBkdnMe

Well helloooooooo pot. This is the kettle calling !

Wald

You're blinded by your stooges.

UgtaBkdnMe

Again, how does Huron's board impact you?

VOTENO

.

eriemom

@Matt/Alissa: Will the video of the meeting be uploaded?

Thomas Paine

Agree MrGadfly we are in a situation that has been created by Gunner and the Board and amplified by reduction in local and state funding. I don't like that we have been put in this position and its why I have been a no voter, but after looking over the financials yesterday at the board meeting and how things are currently set up the levy is a need. The numbers posted here on the negative side are not the whole picture- granted the numbers at the presented at the board weren't the whole picture either, but they are facts used from state mandated figures. I have previously stated the only thing that changed for me yesterday was my no to a yes for the levy only. Most of the board and Gunner need to go- through our votes in November- not by imploding the school in the August vote.

419Bearcat

Agree wholeheartedly.

BradChuros

Instead of everyone using all their energy to be negative with words. Use your knowledge and resources to remove Gunner and the whole BOE if that will make you happy. There's a thing called a no confidence vote, a recall vote..sad two straight supers have caused this much controversy..BOE needs to get it right, make it right...

General5StarMom

For those who are not aware, Mr. Gunner has kept the district going with numerous grants that he and the staff worked together to help funding. He has no control over the funding lost through the state that has put the district in the position it is in. If you want to vote someone out, look at the top person controlling these cuts ~ Gov. Kasich. As for open enrollment, it has saved the district from asking for a levy sooner. It is ridiculous that the community has not had to pass a levy for 13 years and find it so hard to do it now. Ask your neighbors at Margaretta, Sandusky, Huron, Berlin-Milan, how many levies that they needed to pass to operate during those 13 years that Perkins DID NOT collect on any new levy money.

fifteenthgreen

Didn't we just pass one!

Ibelieve2

We passed a renewal.

Bherrle

That was simply extending the existing levy. There was no new money there. And it barely passed!

Strong Salaries...

The salaries tell the story here:

James Gunner Perkins Local Superintendent -$117,200.00 - 235 days

Chris Gasteier, Perkins Local, Other - $94,315 - 260 days

Alice James, Perkins Local, Counseling, - $76,647 - 185 days - Union President

This levy will be used to replace operating funds that were taken from the state AND to replace the inside millage moved by Gunner and the Board for the new building. It will go to pay these bloated salaries.

Don't believe what these "supporters" are telling you. They simply want to keep their jobs in order to keep their nice homes and lifestyles. I never see junkie cars when I drive past our Elementary schools. I do at the high school, but I think those are in the student lot.

A no vote is not a vote against the children. It's a vote that we are fed up with what is happening and we don't support the current board and administration. Let's get new leadership in place before turning over any new monies to them. My grandchildren in the system are doing fine - my son said his daughter was in a class with only 21 students! When I went to school we had 28 or more per class, and we turned out just fine!

Let's support the school system AFTER we get new leadership in place. Vote No this August! We can't trust what Gunner and his puppets are going to do!

citizen

Why is Chris Gasteier still employed by Perkins Schools? It was determined by Gunner and the Board that position is not needed as it will be cut in 2014-15.

Why, then, are Perkins taxpayers paying Chris Gasteier $100k+ this year IF THE POSITION IS NOT NECESSARY?

Ibelieve2

This position will be eliminated August 1, 2013 as the board approved the elimination of this position at last night's meeting.

fifteenthgreen

Hate to see job loss of any kind.

underthebridge

They've always had a Curriculum Director, but a few years ago when someone needed an extra year to bump himself up to full retirement - they created an Asst Director position. Now he's retired and there is only one Curriculum Director.

Strong Schools ...

What Lifestyle??? I work two jobs to help support my family. I will vote yes and support the students. I choose to think about others and their children. I want tolive in a thriving community that will provide a quality education. Our schools will encourage people to live here.

Smaller classses are needed due to the demands of the state standards and common core. I am glad the teachers want to provide an amzing education to our children. They are putting their best interests first. They could put 28 kids in a class but that would give very little time for individual instruction. Students come in at all different levels and need more help. I am glad the school district is thinking about the students. Vote yes in August!

fifteenthgreen

Not good!

takeastand

As a graduate of PHS I think the whole thing is ridiculous! They want to build a new campus, built a unneccesary expensive football stadium, and now cry poor!! Really????

Love614

Become a Blue Streak. Sports are free. Your child can do art, music, health, orchestra, band, etc. It just makes sense. Well rounded student and ready for the real world.

Thomas Paine

General5star mom- agree with we should have passed a levy sooner than 13 years. I blame the board for that not the public. The PR debacles of the new school, the inside millage, the supt not living in the district- among many other perceived missteps has been one of the reasons a levy has not passed recently. Right or Wrong. The inside millage move was a mistake, I am hoping the community can see through the PR mess that has created a majority of the negativity and understand their are two different votes one for the school itself and one for the board running it. Somehow the board has managed to keep the district running without a levy in 13 years (Open enrollment has been good for us)- I commend them for that- however the lack of public trust and goodwill is a direct reflection on the boards inability to interact with the public and effectively engage the voters and has led to the lack of public support of any levy. I am putting my lack of trust aside for this levy after getting details at last nights meeting. While I think Gunner is a smart man and has good intentions- his lack of people skills really hurts the district.

Justme...

Perhaps they managed to go 13 years without new money because they ignored their buildings. Just thought...

General5StarMom

If you had attended previous board meetings you would know why Mr. Gunner does not live in our district. He has stated his reasons at more than 1 meeting and it is easy to understand why he chose a family crisis to determine his residency. His decisions have been in the best interest of Perkins students all along. They have experienced many educational opportunities in his employment at our district that were not in place before and did not include any levies to put them in place. If the inside millage was not moved the community would need to pass a bond levy which would last for 30 years. Seriously, the best intentions were there when they made this move. To pass a 10 year levy as opposed to a 30 year.... do the math. Again, if you want to vote to fix this, find a Governor who will not balance the budget off the backs of our schools, police and fire departments. What shows up on the ballot is proof to show where the major cuts have been. When I hear the lack of public trust that is a two way street. There has been lots of communication from the board and Mr. Gunner who have presented these changes for more than 4 years. If people would be more attentive they would not be so misguided from all the information that has been presented openly for all of them.

Strong Salaries...

His reasons made sense years ago, but why still not living here? He wants us to all pay a lot more in taxes, yet he doesn't pay a dime to our system. He mentioned at a meeting that his sister is doing better, so he should finally move here.

citizen

Come on man, think a little bit.

The Board acts as though they've operated on the same level of revenue over the past 13 years.

And you're repeating it. It's not true.

Does the name Kalahari mean anything to you? Great Wolf Lodge? The 250 boom over the past 13 years? The new housing developments? Plus open enrollment.

Perkins Schools have seen SIGNIFICANT and meaningful revenue increases over the past 13 years through the addition of new development and taxpayers.

Again, Perkins Schools has enough money to operate. It's Gunner and the Board who are choosing a new high school building over the education of district students.

Justme...

Citizen, educate yourself. There are two types of revenue for schools - inside millage (the kind you don't vote on) and outside millage (the kind you do vote on). The more inside millage generated from business the less money the state gives your school. And when you vote on outside millage, that levy can never generate more money than what was voted on. Vote no if you want, but don't spread incorrect information.

sash

Thanks Justme! I can't believe how many people are completely clueless about millage and how it works, yet continue to spread misinformation. Increased property values do not increase revenue to the school. By law, the auditor must decrease the rates so that the income does not exceed the amount that was approved. A new levy is NOT the same as a renewal or an emergency operating levy. Vote no or vote yes, but vote with the facts and not fantasy.

fifteenthgreen

Maybe someday.

citizen

Funding from the state is not eliminated dollar for dollar from new revenues realized from Kalahari, Great Wolf Lodge, the entire 250 strip, new residential development etc.

You really believe Perkins Schools is operating at the same revenue level they did 13 years ago? Wake up!

Bherrle

Citizen - I'm sure revenues have gone up. But don't costs go up too? We all pay more for gas, electric, natural gas, food, supplies, house maintenance, insurance, services etc than we did 13 years. Do you think the schools costs have not gone up as well?

underthebridge

The way the Super and the BOE think, I'm concerned that they will consider passage of the levy in August as an endorsement of their leadership. They have demonstrated that they cannot "hear" from the community anything that counters their way of thinking.

Thomas Paine

Underthebridge- They can believe that all they want- we as the voters decide that.

General5StarMom

We as voters also decide on the future of 2,435 students who deserve a well rounded education. One that previous students received in the past from Perkins. The reason that so many parents have open enrolled students in our district. How many other districts has such a response when they offered this opportunity in their districts. Which almost all Ohio schools do! The decisions that they have made have kept the schools operating with in their means. They have made cuts that are in no comparison to what the state will do if they get to step in and take over. AND if the state does step in THIS IS A FACT.... your levy millage will be closer to what the average school in Ohio has to pay at 14% more than Perkins has now. The state will decide on the millage and will still operate at the lowest standards acceptable. WOW! What an impact that would have in the community!

fifteenthgreen

Peoples lives are being destroyed.

Bherrle

Fifteenth - I'm not asking this question with an agenda, I need someone to explain it to me. If inside millage is not voted on by the public (stated earlier perhaps by someone else), and it was the inside millage that was moved, then how did voters designate those funds in the first place? I'm just trying to fully understand why people feel that thier vote was ignored?

Bherrle

OK - no answer to my last question. How about this - they are "our" board, not any one groups. They were elected, not appointed.

fifteenthgreen

Sad to hear any person is losing their job.

Ibelieve2

His position has been eliminated effective August 1, 2013.

fifteenthgreen

Why was the bogus position created in the first place? Good ole boy mentality scratching each others back?

fifteenthgreen

Wow!

citizen

A month ago Gunner said 2014-15.

Which is it? Is Gasteier's position being cut (and rightfully so I might add) this year or next???

No need to spend another $100,000+ on a communications director. About as silly as taking out a $3,000,000 loan to design a new high school if building it is "off the table" as so many supporters on here (wrongfully) insist.

Ibelieve2

The communications director position was one of many positions approved to be cut effective August 1, 2013. This was approved at Wednesday's board meeting.

VOTENO

.

Ibelieve2

Giving a levy supporter a piece of your mind seems like a waste. Maybe they could instead voice their concerns and ideas to the board and superintendent.

Thomas Paine

Once they made the switch it will cost them more to switch back.

Thomas Paine

What does the lack of trust is a two way street mean? He acts on the boards behalf- the board elected by the citizens. He lacks trust in the people to vote for his agenda? Its exactly comments like that that upset people. As the Supt if he truly does have a lack of trust in the citizens of our community it comes across as arrogance and pushing a personal agenda. It may not be accurate at all but that's how its perceived and perception has become reality in a lot of peoples eyes- It has become a PR nightmare. Until the board fixes that perception, getting a levy passed is going to be tough. There were many members of the community that voiced their opinion and concerns over the millage move- including a past Supt. They argued it would betray public trust by technically having an unapproved tax increase. Its going to take a lot of damage control. I am willing to look past those issues for the school itself and vote yes, but when its time to decide on board members. I think the community has been pretty clear on how they feel about this board and the Supt. I also understand moving the millage back is not an option.

Wald

Why can't the kids get a well-rounded education without a new building? Move the PI funds that were stolen back into the operating funds and you can have all your programs back.

Bherrle

In what way were the funds "stolen?" Are charges being filed? Was the law broken? Please help me to understand this position that I repeatedly have seen represented.

citizen

They were "stolen" from the students.

Gunner decided that a new high school facility was more important than educating children, paying faculty, textbooks and technology, and arts/athletics/music.

Bherrle

That's your opinion, there is no fact there. Have you ever considered, right or wrong, that perhaps Supt. Gunner feels that the quality of the facilities has an impact on a child's education, and therefore is putting education first?

nosey rosey

Blah, blah, blah - no one is punishing the kids. Kids these days have a lot more perks than any of us had when we were growing up and most don't appreciate any of it. Take away everything except what is required by the state for graduation. That is all that a school system should be doing anyway. Every single extracurricular activity could be found somewhere other than school.

fifteenthgreen

Nice!

underthebridge

Thomas P - Why would it cost more to move the funds back to operating expenses?

Common Sense

To all voters,
I am not a parent. I am a citizen. Due to the amount of money brought in through open enrollment, I have not had an increase in the portion of taxes that go to the school in a long time. Also, I know that all the noise about the "laptops" is unfounded as the majority of the funding comes from the sponsoring company. As for the stadium, it was a hazard long before it was declared a hazard. The necessary repairs for the stadium would have cost $1.7 million. This is the amount the board was willing to "pony up" at that time and the two booster clubs arranged for the remainder of the stadium. At that time, state funding was in place to move on as we had always done.
As for planning a new building, we should look at the whole picture. Why can't we just make repairs? It's sort of like owning a car and knowing that no matter how much money you seem to throw at it, it needs more.
Now, John Kasich moves $$ from some districts to other districts. NO ONE saw that sucker punch coming. If you ask the right questions at the BOE meetings, you will also find out that there has been a level of change of income as previously stated by our county auditor. Did any of you "NO" voters know about this? Did anyone ask?
It's been thirteen years since this school district has asked me for more money to operate. Education is the one of the community's most important investments. This is a lesson my mother and father instilled in me. There are always other ways to cut my budget a little thinner.
Please consider coming to the BOE meetings and become an informed citizen. This is free to all.

fifteenthgreen

Please explain.

Trump

Your understanding of the laptop funding is not correct. The only funding from the sponsor company was a grant for training the teachers how to use the laptops in the classroom. The annual $2.5mm lease is paid by the school.

underthebridge

You are 100% correct.

Thomas Paine

underthebridge. As it was explained to me on millage of inside and outside. And any school people can correct me since I may be incorrect- (I know there are teachers/admin of the school viewing this blog) Inside millage is not subject to HB 920 which limits the dollar amount the schools get. Under HB 920 if 1 mill is charged today and property value goes up the school funding does not follow property values going up. So the effective millage is less than what was originally passed. Its why the schools have to go back every 3 years or so to get a new levy since the money received doesn't follow inflation. By moving the outside which is subject to HB 920 and putting it into inside millage the funds received are increased. I believe if they move the money back to outside millage it will be less money because of HB 920. The financial details are a little fuzzy and complicated, but as I understand it not a dollar for dollar transfer back.

Thomas Paine

Common Sense- I encourage more people to go to the BOE meetings too.

MrGadfly

I think people get more accurate information here. The school district controls your voice at school board meetings. It control the information disseminated at the meetings. You can only ask questions at a specific time.

The school board and superintendent have no control over this forum. It's a breath of fresh air.

A school board member and superintendent blamed bloggers for the demise of their levy. I rejoice the ability to speak my mind and not be controlled by government bureaucrats.

I vote for freedom.

Ibelieve2

I just think it is important to get accurate information. I like how some misinformation is being corrected.

Thomas Paine

MrGadfly I am sorry you believe what you read on the internet to be true. Information posted by complete strangers is not more accurate than audited financials that are compiled by state standards and put together by people WE elect. I will continue to get my data from a true source to make a decision over anonymous people mostly spouting out numbers they don't understand nor have they asked questions or looked at the entire picture of where those numbers came from, but instead choose to be negative with no backing of any of their information. I don't want to go to your meetings where everyone can speak at once- order is important. I felt last nights meeting was very professional and civil. Some of the answers given by the board were predetermined hogwash others were informative and helped me make my own decision. The idea that going to an organized meeting to get information so you can make your own decision and then come to the blogs to discuss doesn't seem like a bad idea to me. I don't have to agree with the data but at least its coming from a documented source.

Ibelieve2

Totally agree!

RMyer

T. Paine- Regarding your comments about inside/outside millage. I encourage you to talk with the school treasurer or the county auditor. But this is my understanding. Every district by law is allocated an amount of inside millage (Perkins is 5+ mills). This inside millage is not subject to the inflationary control of HB 920 whether it is used for operations or permanent improvements. That is one of the reasons the inside millage can be used for facility upgrades going forward, and it eliminates the need to continue to ask for construction bond levies to address facility needs.

Other outside millage is subject to HB920 and is a big reason why, as you state, every 3-5 years districts all over the state need to ask for funds. Once a levy is voted passed, the districts can only collect the amount of revenue that that levy authorized. New construction and increased property values do not provide ongoing additional tax funds to districts other than in the year the entities begin paying taxes. The auditor adjusts the tax rates the next year to keep the actual money collected at the level authorized by the levies (as explained to me by an employee in the auditor's office).

Looking at the numbers going forward, a levy in the amount of at least 5 mills would be needed within the next year regardless of where the inside millage rests. Moving it moved the need for the levy forward by a year. The board could elect to move the inside millage back, but the funds already accumulated there would have to stay in the p.i. fund. Collections on the amount moved back into the general operations would begin to be collected as we move forward. There would be no alternative to addressing the facilities issue going forward other than to try to pass additional construction bond levies (these on top of any operational levies). This option is more expensive for us taxpayers in the short and long term.

I believe I am correct in my summarization, but please let me know if not.

VOTENO

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bluestreakparent76

There's a perfectly capable school district across the street. No pay to play and in-house career skill classes.

stayfit

The Sandusky School District offers higher level classes and be a better education for its highest learners that Perkins. It offers more diversity and a broader base of programs for its students, as well. That school also has its problems and is very poor for students that are not in the honors programs.

UgtaBkdnMe

From what I hear, the high school has an "effective" rating and not too far from reaching "excellent". No other district can compare to what it offers to its students. Maybe that "sucking sound from the south" will turn into the Great Northern Migration. Interesting, isn't it?

character counts

Wow...Thomas Paine! I again couldn't agree with you more! It is so nice to see informative citizens that completely and logically express concerns, and also offer solutions. Thank you again for your logical comments you are excellent at expressing and addressing all situations on the table!

Tribester

Any monies generated for PI since the millage was moved can NOT be moved back to fund operations under state law, therefore you can't just MOVE the money back and magically fix the operations funding problem that exists NOW. You would need a slightly smaller operating levy in a year or two regardless of moving millage back, AND would need to pass a bond levy for renovations to the North wing of the high school or whatever other fixes you would need to make down the road. It's the classic pay now, or pay more later scenario, and the longer this community kicks the can down the road, the cost to get things in order will increase, especially when the state takes over like Huron, etc. SUPPORT OUR STUDENTS! VOTE YES!

fifteenthgreen

Why was it moved in the first place? Please explain.

RMyer

It was the least costly option to taxpayers to allow for upgrading facilities (new or renovated) into the future. The worst building is the high school. There have been several mailings to residents and the move has been explained in numerous public meetings. Other districts in the state have done this to help with facility issues instead of continuing to ask for construction bond levies on top of operating levies. Please contact the treasurer or other administrator and they will forward a copy of the numbers under several options that were available to the board when making their decision and going forward if the inside millage is moved back.

character counts

Nicely said Tribester!

Lissa4u

What is a family that has 2 or 3 children in sports supposed to do? That's an awful lot of money for a family to come up with.

If the board is trying to blackmail the district into passing the levy, the parents of all the students who use that brand new stadium should band together and refuse to pay the price for their children to play sports. I think Gunner and the board would be rather upset to have a brand new stadium with no one using it.

VOTENO

.

Thomas Paine

Rymer and Tribester thanks for the input on what is state law and clarifying the inside/outside millage and operation and PI funds. I think most people here would agree moving the millage to PI funds was not the best idea. The board may have had the best intentions but given the financial markets, it was a big risk to take without a new levy passing (which it did not). Not to mention moving the millage to PI right after the vote for a new school was turned down looks bad on paper to the public. I hope people are trying to grasp a complex issue on how schools are funded now that we are in this position. That millage move along with a defeated levy, compounded by Kasich and his school funding changes and here we are, with a levy is needed in order for the school to operate. But it is not just the board and Gunner, they certainly have a role in this, but it also includes state and local funding issues. New millage has not been approved in 13 years. In business terms this is equivalent to a grocery store stocking its shelves with food and charging 2000 prices even after gas went to $4 a gallon to deliver the goods. It is going to have an adverse impact on the business if they cant raise prices to compensate- the only the thing they could do would be to put less food on the shelves. Its not the schools fault the funding system is outdated complex and generally not logical. They have no way to generate new income while costs rise other than doing what the system dictates. I think after 13 years our community should invest in itself and its future and then deal with the issues we have with the board and supt's handling of the issues.

RMyer

Thank you for your input, opinions, and willingness to consider the different nuances of the issues. I will reiterate one other millage fact that I have posted previously. In 18 years, we have passed only the 2.9 mill addition.

Our current state administration is also siphoning off tax dollars (that could be turned back to the public schools) to fund private charter schools that are not held to the same standards nor have to accept all of the same students that public schools do.

Our district has searched out all of the additional revenue it is allowed to generate. It has worked with private sector businesses and citizens to help with projects and programs, employees have given concessions (and many their positions-we are at or below the staffing levels of 2008), grant dollars have been pursued (but can only be used for specific programs and not for general operations).

In the bigger macroeconomic picture, all of us support each other whenever we purchase a good or service in the community. The prices we pay for any item or service include the wages, benefits (social security, insurance, etc.), product costs plus an amount for profit for that business.

fifteenthgreen

So it is about purchasing a new school?

RMyer

I don't believe that decision has been made. I've seen a renovation figure in the $38 million dollar range, and I don't know that the $50 million dollar figure is set in stone; there are probably areas to reduce costs. What does one do with aging facilities? People seem to have a problem with the OSFC reviews of the facilities (there have been 2 or 3 analyses done on the high school building), but it is what it is. I'm sure the school would give you a tour if you ask to see what the reviewers were looking at.

Let's assume you sit on the board and have to make a decision about facilities. And I ask the following questions respectfully: Will you hire experts to review the facilities and provide input? Will you ignore the issue? Will you hold public meetings and hope a large representative sampling of the public shows up? Will you send communication pieces home to residents for them to consider the options? Will you choose an option that is lowest cost to taxpayers and sets the district up to take care of facility issues well into the future? Will you ask for bond levies to pass? What would you do if you were in charge?

I do know that the longer it is put off, the more expensive it will be. Construction costs are already rising from a few years ago because the construction market is heating up again. Materials costs will continue to rise as will construction labor costs to build.

fifteenthgreen

Thank you. How is Perkins HS and Briar's condition in comparison to other local schools including St. Marys, Sandusky, Margaretta, Huron, Port Clinton, Oak Harbor, Danbury, etc...?

underthebridge

+1

character counts

Lissa4u I hope you attended the meeting, and asked to look at the financial numbers that are currently in place, and the financial forecast for the future. I have two children myself in the district. Do you think I was leaping for joy when I read that either? I don't think you will find one parent that would say, "hey I would like to spend that kind of money for all of my children to partake in all of the liberties that are available for our children to do. If the board has cut 23 teachers, reduced their staff by 20%, why wouldn't that be something on the table? Do any of us like it? No! So, to answer your question "What is a family that has 2 or 3 children in sports supposed to do?" I'll give you one solution: you may disagree, but it is a solution.... sign up for a levy comity, promote our belief in our students, and VOTE for someone in November that you feel would make better decisions.

Lissa4u

Sounds like a plan. I hope you find someone who can help the schools out instead of dragging them under.

citizen

Wait- does Perkins Schools pay $2.5 million each year so students can have their very own laptop????

Perkins Schools is on the brink of "dismantling themselves" and "no longer having a district" as Jim Gunner has stated multiple times on video (right here on the Register website) ... but they still have $2.5 million to pay for individual laptops for each of their students and a $3,000,000 to plan and design a new high school?

stayfit

You are uninformed. The marketplace is a global economy. If kids don't know how to use technology, they will be left behind. The district is preparing kids for a successful future. Education has changed and it will continue to evolve.

citizen

"The marketplace is a global economy" What on earth does that have to do with students have their own personal Mac laptops purchased by the taxpayers?

I work for an international firm with a master's degree. I have a little bit of an understand of what it takes to compete and win in the US economy and globally.

Being given Apple laptops in middle school and high school free of charge is not preparing anyone for a "marketplace in a global economy" or whatever the heck that means.

Can someone answer my question. Is Perkins Schools (taxpayers) paying $2.5 million annually for each student to have their own Apple laptop?

And at the same time, Perkins Schools stating they are on the brink of "dismantling themselves" and "no longer having a district" (Gunner's words).

$2.5M annually for laptops for each student, $3M loan to design and plan a new high school building.

I am not sure in what reality that is on the brink of financial ruin.

underthebridge

Every 3 years, the lease on the laptops needs to be renewed at a cost of about $2.5 million dollar. The teachers were provided their first MacBooks during the 2008 - 2009 school year. The student laptop initiative was first rolled out at the start 2009 - 2010 school year. During the 2010 - 2011 school year, the teachers laptops were replaced again through a lease. The initial student lease expired and a new set of MacBooks was provided at the start of this most recent school year. I don't know of corporations that turn over their computers that frequently, but they did at Perkins. I believe the overall cost has been around $5 million dollars.

Redskin backer

Man, are you perkins voters ever myopic! Do you honestly think you're going to get a top tier school system for free?? And believe it or not, open enrollment has NOTHING to do with your shortfall. If you refuse to support your schools out of some misguided principle, watch how long it takes for your schools to suffer...By the way, if your students aren't saving from their summer jobs, the SBC sports scene will be a bit more...umm... Competitive this year! Pay to play could be the best thing to happen to Port Clinton and the SBC also- rans. Vote down the August levy, make your point...see who it ends up hurting!

44870 South

Sooooo....let me get this straight. You want to see the Perkins levy PASS so that SBC sports are more competitive? Wow....

fifteenthgreen

$3,000,000 new school design "loan".
$1,700,000 district contribution/match to the new stadium
$1,185,745 2012 laptop lease program for students ???
$2,000,000 being moved annually from operating to PI to build a school.

Is this sum true? Just heard these figures were spent and would appreciate clarification. Thank you.

Bherrle

Nope. At a minimum, the $2.5 M annual number is wrong. It depends on what you are trying to represent. Do you think 9.2M is an annual number? If so, you are very wrong.

stayfit

Simple: Having a community not pass a levy for an abundance of years caused this. The cost per year ($200-$300) does not compare to the decrease in your property value from having a levy not pass.
Pass the levy in August or see what happens to the future of the Perkins kids. Now: Reduction of staff and high-cost programs...Next no sports and state minimums (quality of education goes down and good luck getting your kid college scholarship without a well-rounded education)... If the levy continues to fail, the state will eventually take over and run a $10 million-plus levy. If that continues to fail, the school district will close. Good luck with selling your house in the district for what you paid for it. Community no-voters, this is on you. Keep saying no to a tax that is roughly $30.00 a month for years to come, your frugal mentality will hurt the community and cost you.

fifteenthgreen

$200 per year?

themomx6

Does anyone else find it strange that schools CHARGE students to play sports that the school CHARGES the public to attend? "C'mon Johnny, pay me $700+ to play a sport so I can make even more money off your parents by charging them to come and watch you play a sport they already PAID for you to play!"

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