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




Ok. You've made your point. At least twice now. That's...hmm...TWICE more than you've attended meetings or read the literature that is mailed to inform voters. Correct?


Gunners talking points.


Will you stop with this idiotic merger talk? Sandusky has 5 times as many registered voters as Perkins, with a huge number of them being renters already on some form of public assistance. Perkins has far more property valuation. How do you think that will work out?
Everywhere that situation exists in a combined district, the higher population steamrolls levy after levy and the other one is bled dry.


Don't want those "under productive people in Sandusky" bleeding you dry, now do you? (your description of Sandusky, not mine)


I will never, ever support this levy. When it finally came out that there was an older female teacher sleeping in front of her class for years, that was the last straw for me! Add the stadium, failure to enforce residency on the supt., and the rather awkward blackmail and extortion and we have a recipe for the state to eventually take over the district and correct the mismanagement. Why do we have to buy all students, so-called teachers and administrators multiple new laptops and ipads? Why were those teachers paid last year to go to columbus and wear silly costumes to protest sb5. They will now get what they deserve! Come on August, we will defeat this levy by 10 to 1.

Strong Schools ...


You are blaming all of the students for something that was out of their control. It does not matter if Gunner lives in our district! I bet most of the people on this blog do not live in the same community in which they work. Gunner has been very dedicated to our school district and kept us off the ballot for five years with his creative financial solutions. The well has run dry because the state has cut more than 2 million from our school budget. Gunner has no control over that.

NONE of the teachers got paid to go down to Columbus in protest of SB5. If any of th teachers went to Columbus they went on their own time and did not get paid.

As for the laptops and iPads...Our school district is very innovative and is ahead of any other district tin our area when it comes to technology and programs. We have received some grant money to help fund the computers, etc. The job of our district is to prepare the students for the 21st century and that includes technology. Students operate through technology and we need to foster this. Our students have had some amazing opportunities inside and outside the classroom due to the advanced technology. Please check your facts and only give factual information.


"creative financial solutions". Lol. Try taking taxpayer money earmarked for operations and moving it to waste money on an ostentatious new stadium and a new building we voted no to and can't afford. See through the propaganda. Vote no.


strong schools, please check your facts, "we have received some grant money to help fund the computers" that wasnt true in the beginning and still is not, capital funds pay for the laptops every year.


Gunners talking points.


Easy on the caps button. Was it stuck or just really really mad


A ? at the end would get your point across much better. In a hurry or just don't know any better?

Perkins Resident

I, along with my entire family, and every single person I have discussed this issue with, will be voting no. These comments from the teachers on here and the levy supporters only solidifies this decision. We will not be threatened, harrassed, or talked down to. We will be out in force. We will defeat this levy. Stay strong Perkins Residents. We will defeat this levy yet again.

Strong Schools ...

You really think all of the bloggers are teachers? Have more faith in your community members. You say that you will not be harassed, threatened, or talked down to? Have you checked the negative bloggers. They are the worst at all of these things and they still don't list any factual information.

There are plenty of people that are working hard and doing everything they can to make sure our kids and students are put first. Stay Strong Perkins Residents and pass this levy for our students and our community! We are only as strong as our schools and the students we put out into the real world!


Gunners talking points.

Common Sense

Again, no evidence of true information as a voter, just an opinion.


Gunners talking points.


Spread the word. Vote no.

Strong Schools ...

Spread the word...Vote Yes.


People want the schools to make they do and now the outrage. You people cannot simply have it all your way. Pay more for sports or pay more for a levy....your choice.

Strong Schools ...

It is cheaper to pass this levy than to pay for sports.

levy passage = $25.69 a month
Pay to Play = $730 per sport


Free $1 million plus laptops!


Not if your kid isn't interested in sports.


Not to mention the people who no longer have kids in school.


Gunners talking points.

The New World Czar

Perkins is now the second lowest in the county as far as meeting state indicators (Ohio Department of Education data). Stop and think- open enrollment, laptop computers, widespread IEP's, et al- are they improving the end product?

When you are short on funds, go back to the basics. Whether the 3R or STEM path, prioritize what will make the student function in society.


The New World Czar - How does Perkins rank statewide?


I know, I know....they are "effective".


NO DLK, I want the number. What out of how many statewide? I'm not interested in monikers like "effective."


Find out yet?


Google is your friend.