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

Nemesis

To say nothing of all the home-schooled kids who are attending top universities.

UgtaBkdnMe

Communities do benefit from the extras made available to children. Since the inner-city student was mentioned, the facts are that inner-city kids are under represented in colleges and over-represented in criminal activity.

Wald

Wow. You're definitely from Huron.

UgtaBkdnMe

So you are suggesting that inner-city kids attend college at the same rate and are not more likely to be involved in criminal activity? Do opportunities given to young people have no bearing on their chances to succeed? Are you saying that if you can read the statistics that support this that you must live in Huron? If you can't see this, it has nothing to do with where you live instead it just means you are clueless.

Nemesis

Their chances to succeed are based almost entirely on their upbringing at home. The reason inner-city kids are underrepresented at college is that most of them are raised by a single mother who bore them before she could finish high school.

Wald

Clueless? Weren't you saying something about pots and kettles? The original post said without specials, kids can't get into good colleges. I made the point that it is possible for kids without specials, like inner-city kids, to still get into good schools and not be a criminal. You made a sweeping, stereotypical generalization about inner-city kids that was beside the point which betrayed your provincial, small-minded prejudice. Nemesis pointed out your faulty logic. But I don't know why I'm trying to reason with you. I'm more likely to win the lottery.

bobshumway92

Gunners talking points.

Perkins2060

Merge with Sandusky!

Strong Schools ...

Get a life and worry about your own community!

Perkins2060

I'm pulling my kids from Perkins next year and open enrolling them in another district. It's time to merge with Sandusky! Fire Gunner and let Sandusky's super take over!

Oh wait, that won't work. The parents in Perkins with kids in sports would never want that. Their kids would ride pine.

Strong Schools ...

Okay, You want to live in our community but transport your children elsewhere? Open enrollment students do not receive transportation from their chosen district. So you will not pay 25 dollars a month but you will pay 25 dollars in gas a week to take your child to and from school? You are out $75! I don't think you are a Perkins community member. You bring up Sandusky way too much.

I am glad their levy passed because I do not want to see anything cut from any student. You obviously have never attended a Perkins board meeting because you never state any factual information.

Blog readers...please take note of this! A lot of the negative bloggers do not have anything to stand on. They are just mad! Please go to the Perkins Schools website and submit a question. You do not have to give any personal information. Someone will provide you with an answer. You can also ask your question here on the blog and someone will give you the correct factual information.

VOTENO

.

bobshumway92

Gunners talking points.

Be Positive-Vote Yes

People, understand this! School Supporter makes a good point below stating that you will pay more in gas money to transport your children to Sandusky than the $25 dollars a month that it takes to pass this levy, but let me also add- YOUR HOME VALUE WILL GO DOWN in Perkins! Understand the truth is, people pay extra to live in the Perkins District. It is a district they want to live in because of the past success of the Perkins schools and the successful students it has produced. If we become part of Sandusky Schools, our home value will go down as not standing out as part of one of the greatest districts to be a part of. When businesses think about moving to an area, one of the top 3 things they look at is the school district and if it is one they want to be a part of - if we merge with Sandusky or even don't and still lose all of these programs and have to pay to play, then we will lose business coming to our community and stop community growth as well as lose the legacy status of being a part of the Perkins School District. So yes, home value will go down because of it. People pay a heck of a lot more to be in a particular school district- location, location, location, as they say, and people want to be a part of Perkins for a reason! We need to keep that reason going!

bobshumway92

Gunners talking points.

Be Positive-Vote Yes

People, understand this! School Supporter makes a good point below stating that you will pay more in gas money to transport your children to Sandusky than the $25 dollars a month that it takes to pass this levy, but let me also add- YOUR HOME VALUE WILL GO DOWN in Perkins! Understand the truth is, people pay extra to live in the Perkins District. It is a district they want to live in because of the past success of the Perkins schools and the successful students it has produced. If we become part of Sandusky Schools, our home value will go down as not standing out as part of one of the greatest districts to be a part of. When businesses think about moving to an area, one of the top 3 things they look at is the school district and if it is one they want to be a part of - if we merge with Sandusky or even don't and still lose all of these programs and have to pay to play, then we will lose business coming to our community and stop community growth as well as lose the legacy status of being a part of the Perkins School District. So yes, home value will go down because of it. People pay a heck of a lot more to be in a particular school district- location, location, location, as they say, and people want to be a part of Perkins for a reason! We need to keep that reason going!

Perkins0602

Why wait? Do it now, since you have all the answers, or is this just "Scare Tatics"? Gunner has been here five years, so you have waited five years to find a better education for your kids?

Common Sense

Read the police blotter? Types of crimes occurring at 2100 Hayes are more violent than at 3714 Campbell.

badboy

Sounds like that open enrollment scheme wasn't all the blue sky and apple pie they thought it would be.

asecretlife

Kept us out of this situation for 5 years.

bobshumway92

Gunners talking points.

oldpirate

Wow Wald. 30% voter turnout a landslide? More like voter apathy. Most no voters are set. If those who didn't bother to vote decide to support the levy can pass. Please vote yes because you know it is the right thing to do.

Wald

The levy was defeated by a wide margin. I think it was 65%-35%. I don't know about your math, oldpirate, but, as far as those who voted, it was a landslide victory for the no voters. I welcome a larger voter turnout. It would be an even wider defeat for the levy. Vote no if you want to keep your democratic rights. See through the lies...a yes vote is a vote for a new school.

Strong Schools ...

I agree with Old Pirate. We just need to get more yes people out to vote.

Wald,
Why don't you want our community to flourish? If we do not have strong schools then the community will go down in value and pride. We need to keep what we have and support the students. Our home values will decrease and people will not want to move here if we do not support our schools. Think long term, stop living in the past, and think about what this can do for our community.

Wald

We have a strong system now. We don't need some grandiose building the taxpayers can't afford. We don't need a superintendent stealing our money to build it. I don't trust him with my money. I'm voting no.

bobshumway92

Gunners talking points.

Nemesis

oldpirate, special elections are known for maximum levy supporter turnout. Boards choose them specifically to improve their chances.

Perkins2060

MERGE WITH SANDUSKY AND CUT THE FAT! Perkins parents you have a choice to open enroll your kids in a good district. I'm making that choice. Margaretta, Huron, Edison! Send your kids there along with the state funds. This district has been ruined by Gunner and his minions! VOTE NO!

Strong Schools ...

Again, you have no factual information...just emotion!

bobshumway92

Gunners talking points.

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