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

eriemom

This is the only thing that makes any sense to me. I can't bring myself to believe that any of these men are evil or immoral.

To lead one must be intelligent, but that is not enough. I have noticed that this community is very cliquey. I really don't think that Gunner had any chance at success once the money from the open enrollment program ran dry.

sandusky2012

we can have a bake sale all those on public assistance can purchase the food and those whom are on section 8 can bake the items since they receive government assistance

NewToPerkins

I have found all these blogs very interesting, both for and against the levy. Before I share my thoughts, I don't know how people have so much time to blog...but, I have learned a lot from the posts. So thanks to all! I have to say that my family and I are new to Perkins and actually moved here because of the schools. The year we moved here they just began work on the stadium and it seemed like a very postive place. We were excited that we were going to be a part of this community. Since then, I became very upset with the board and Dr. Gunner because I assumed that they were trying to fool us, as many bloggers are still saying. I voted no in May for the levy. After finding out the levy was going to be on the ballet again, I was like...are you kidding me? This time, I decided I would do my own research and make myself informed. After coming to understand the details surrounding the schools, I am ashamed that I voted NO. I apologize to this community for voting no. This time my family and I will be voting YES! I agree the board and Dr. Gunner were not very good in communicating information to the public. But now that I know the infromation...I feel informed to actually make a more educated decision on the ballot. A few things I wanted to say that makes me proud of Perkins. They are preparing our students with the right technology that is vital for our students and their futures - let's face it, it's a new world out there. The teachers and instruction are amazing, and the schools offer educational opportunities that the other schools in our areas do not. I hope we will be able to keep these. Finally, I wanted to check out what all this talk was about regarding buildings. Everyone who told me to vote "no" said that the schools were fine and in good shape, so I believed them. Well, I had to go to the high school for an event a few weeks ago and was shocked to find cracked floors, broken doors, closed bathrooms, and exposed wires outside the building due to aging/decaying pipes. WOW! Again, I am ashamed that I voted no. I am not a blogger, but I felt compelled to share with you my experience. I went to inform myself of the realities out there and have decided, along with our neighbors, that this time we are all voting YES!!! Thank you to all of the bloggers who have been on here providing facts. Those are important for us to know and understand. To many of the nay sayers on here, I encourage you to just go check out the facts for yourself and make an educated decision. I know this levy is not for the buildings, but operational funds. But lets hope that we will have a school system that will keep operating and building this community.

Strong Schools ...

New to Perkins,

First of all, welcome to our community! I am sorry you have moved here during this crazy time but I have to give you so much credit for going out yourself and figuring what the facts are. As you can see, a lot of people on this blog like to "talk" and not say anything of importance. Thank you for educating yourself and sharing your story! Our school district is amazing and provides unique opportunities that other schools do not provide. We will continue to fight and support our children.

Stay strong positive bloggers! Support our students and vote yes!

Strong Schools ...

New to Perkins,

First of all, welcome to our community! I am sorry you have moved here during this crazy time but I have to give you so much credit for going out yourself and figuring what the facts are. As you can see, a lot of people on this blog like to "talk" and not say anything of importance. Thank you for educating yourself and sharing your story! Our school district is amazing and provides unique opportunities that other schools do not provide. We will continue to fight and support our children.

Stay strong positive bloggers! Support our students and vote yes!

Wald

" I know this levy is not for the buildings, but operational funds". If you truly believe this, you are either misinformed or naive. This levy is all about Gunner's $50 million palace which voters have already said no to, prompting him to take the funds which put the students in this mess. If the high school is so bad, why did the Erie County Health Department inspect the building and say it's fine? I know students who go there that say it's fine. You make it sound like a war zone; if it is so bad, how can students even be let inside the building? Don't be bamboozled...I and everyone I've spoken with are voting NO!

Strong Schools ...

The high school was rated as one of the worst buildings in the state. The worst score you can get on the evaluation is a 100 and Perkins scored a 92! That is from the state and the people who looked at the buildings are trained in this field and do it year round. This levy is about keeping the programs we have in place now. Wald, you are so stuck on the buildings and you really need to educate yourself in other things.

VOTE YES!

citizen

This is a building levy. If you don't recognize this fact, I am not sure what alternate universe you live.

As soon as this levy is passed, it is full-speed ahead on construction of new facilities.

Gunner and the Board can flat-out lie all they want and say the building is "on hold" until the schools are "financially stable" (really specific, huh?).... but why on earth would they a few weeks ago take out a $3,000,000 loan to design new facilities that were "on hold" until they were "financial stable." Gunner and Board are telling us they are on the verge of financial disaster and dismantling themselves. One would assume it'd be a few years, at least, until they are "financiallly stable" but they take out a $3,000,000 loan to design a new building anyway?

To further solidify the point... Perkins Schools tried to pass tax increases to build a brand new campus twice and then just a new high school. Voters overwhelmingly rejected these tax increases, even though Gunner and Board said each time it was a "once in a lifetime opportunity." After voters overwhelmingly said no multiple times, Gunner and Board moved money from operating funds that was set to educate the students, pay faculty and staff, provide arts/athletics/music etc.... into a fund to build new buildings! Gunner and board are now saying they are on the brink of financial ruin and must make all these massive cuts unless this levy is passed. This is because they moved operating funds into funds to build new facilities, after multiple taxpayer votes saying no. They are the ones that are a danger to the students' education, not fiscally responsible, conservative no-tax-increase voters.

If you do not see the problem with this, and recognize this is a building levy as opposed to an operations levy as they are trying to sell it as... you ought to go take some logic or critical thinking courses.

fifteenthgreen

If we were rated one of the worst in the state, I would hate to see how some of the others in the area would fare! Also, I've visited few on the East side of Cleveland and visited a few public schools in Toledo. I'd say we have it pretty good!

Bherrle

New,

Welcome to the community. Our family moved here two years ago from out of state, and we share much of experience and opinion. Thank you for your post.

fifteenthgreen

Is the laptop program free to the students?

Bherrle

Fifteenth green,

The laptop program is not "free". First, parents do pay a technology fee year, off the top of my head I believe it is $40-45. Second, the students do not get to keep the laptops, they belong to the district or as a part of the lease. Third, one needs to consider how much the district is saving in textbook costs due to the technology. I don't know that number, and I don't assume it comes anywhere close to the cost of the program, but it's a factor that everyone is overlooking. Lastly, the benefit to current and future students is immeasurable. It's a tool that we should be putting in their hands, and it is one of the reasons my wife and I choose this district two years ago. I disagree with the opinion that supt. Gunner and the board are choosing laptops over teachers.

Wald

So Perkins did away with their textbooks? You sure about that, or are you just guessing? Since, you know, you want facts, maybe you could check this out, since I'm pretty sure they still use textbooks. Also, I thought they got to keep the laptop once they graduate. Again, maybe you could get the "facts".

fifteenthgreen

Tell that to the fifteen teachers and their families that are losing their jobs. My children having a free laptop provided to them is more important than your job. If the district told you they were eliminating the program to save other programs and jobs, would you be willing to go out and buy your own $1600 MacBook Air? Or would your mentality be that of I don't really care about their jobs. Again, you have to really assume this levy is going to fail and everyone will be spending more time at the "19th" hole. You have to look beyond August and November and assume this thing is going to fail.

How many books could have been purchased with the 1.7 million dollar stadium gift? How many books could have been purchased with the $3,000,000 design loan? How many jobs could have been saved. Why were we even looking that far ahead post recession? Plus, how is it that Perkins was able to obtain that sum of a loan in a barely post-recession era when most can barely obtain a home loan or credit card for that matter. Really? Stricter lending? How many jobs could have been saved? Peoples livelihoods are at stake here! Remember that when you sit in those bleachers or watch your child use that Apple!

Wald

Good questions. But they needed the football stadium. Couldn't have other SBC schools with better facilities; programs and teaching positions were collateral damage.

Strong Schools ...

You really think doing away with technology is smart in the 21st century. I know the teachers support preparing the students for the FUTURE! Our neighbors and friends feel the same way. We have to provide technological opportunities if our children are going to compete in the job world and be successful. Get off the golf course and do some research on technology in the classroom and how it enhances a students success in college and the real world.

fifteenthgreen

Does anyone on here care about the past alumni or teachers from PHS?

Bherrle

15th,

You are making that correlation, we are not. The past is the past. No, I do not think they are doomed. Life is a continuing education opportunity. The world constantly evolves. We had some of the best tools available to us when we were in school (for me 20-25 years ago.) Why shouldn't current and future students?

fifteenthgreen

Are you interested in learning how other districts have learned from their mistakes and made their district successful? I believe that it is important to learn from other school districts in the state.

Bherrle

I will tell you that had Perkins not been a STEM school, or at least progressive with it's academic program, it would not have been as high on our list, when we were choosing schools during our move here. In my opinion, Perkins would not draw as many open enrollment students either if the progressiveness did not exist, and the financial situation as it is today would be far worse, and it would have been painful years ago. It seems to me that many staunch "no" voters are underestimating this.

fifteenthgreen

Perkins has always had a reputation of excellence now and prior to your decision to come here. This is not about your decision to bring your children here. Please stop referencing this. We get it. I've lived here my entire life and so have my friends and family! I know the schools, teachers, coaches, administration - present and past, policies - present and past, buildings, fields, conferences and community inside and out. In about thirty years, you'll earn the right to get it. Until then, keep listening, observing, asking questions and learning. You've only been here two years.

Bherrle

15th,

Couple of things. Why do you keep changing previously asked questions to new questions? Other than the time stamp, it is making it look like I'm am answering your newly worded question, not the old one, and my answers don't fit your new questions.

Second - Please don't tell me what to reference or not reference. My point in bringing up our decision to move here is that we had choices, and we chose Perkins. I know that Perkins reputation has nothing to do with my family. What I am trying to give everyone is an outsiders perspective. You want families to move into the district, don't you? Someone on here pointed out that Perkins is transitioning from a "bedroom community of Sandusky" to a retirement community. While I may not totally agree with that, the fact is getting younger families to move into the district will help counteract the trend towards a retirement community, and will keep more "non fixed income" working taxpayer home owners on the tax rolls. Younger families will not want to move into this district if things keep going the way they are. Everyones property values will suffer, and the district will become a sheel of it's once great self, or completely dissappear.

Sometimes, a fresh face, new perspective is a good thing. I respect that you have lived here for 30 years. But sometimes all that history can cause one to not be able to "see the forest thru the trees." I'm not saying that applies to you, but I can see it in some others.

I don't feel that I need 30 years to be able to contribute something to the community, or ideas to any cause/discussion, and especially to express my opinion.

Bherrle

Yes, I am interested in learning how other districts have learned from their mistakes and made their district successful. But I'm not going to use that as the sole basis for making decisions. I.E - they don't have something, so we don't need it either.

citizen

My goodness... no one is suggesting doing away with technology!!

I am stating that local taxpayers should not be forced to spend $1-2 million per year so that each and every student can have their own personal Mac laptop.

Bherrle

I don't understand your point Citizen, what are you replying too?

citizen

Strong schools first sentence.

Bherrle

Gotcha. I took that to mean "doing away with laptops", but I can see how that could to be taken, or could have been said, to mean more than that.

Bherrle

15th,

I they were eliminating the program, it wouldn't matter if I purchased my child a laptop or not. There would be nothing online, supported by the school, to link it too. What would the purpose be? They don't just get a computer, it is linked into the school system. It is provided as a part of the academic program. Therefore your question is mute.

I wouldn't tell them (the 15 losing jobs) anything. I'm not on the board, nor am I the Supt. I am not an expert on educating. The board and Supt. have decided that given the taxpayers continued reluctance to provide any additional operating funds, and given the states funding cuts, that it is better for the students to retain the program, and cut staff. In my opinion, it is those two funding issues that are causing the choice to be made. The board and Supt. are being put into a no win situation.

Some will say they caused it by moving inside millage. Wrong. That move was needed to ensure capital funds were available for capital needs, and it was the least costly option available. Capital needs would be maintenace, repairs, renovations, or new buildings. The district would have been short on one side or other, they have to have a certain amount of funds set aside, no matter what direction is taken, renovation, new facility, or something in between.

I know alot of folks are going to say "As soon as the levy passes they will build a new building. This is a building levy, not an operations levy." I don't agree.

Lastly, I don't have to assume anything. I have faith in the people of this district that they collectively will do the right thing in August. I understand that they are some whose minds will never be changed. That's unfortunate, but that is their choice, and it is what it is.

fifteenthgreen

The downside of school-provided laptops is that students lose the challenge and freedom of choice, and they also lose the full personal and academic machine experience (since there would always be some limits as to what could be done with a school-managed machine even if they are local admins), and of course the loss of access over the summer.

So, the benefits of fully achieving the more focused/limited goals of the true “bring your own” program are not to be underestimated. One could say a program that really achieves the more limited goals fully should be considered more successful than the program that partially achieves the higher goals of the school-provided laptops (with full Adobe apps, Mathematica, etc.). Also, one should not underestimate the higher costs of the school-provided program, for the hardware and licensing and summer work.

One could say the school provided program is more scalable as time passes than the “bring your own,” but again it comes back to the school culture and what wants to be achieved. In either case, the laptops should fade out of prominence and become everyday tools and part of the evolving academic goals of a healthy school. A healthy school we are not!

fifteenthgreen

Everyone should have thought of all your valid points before writing checks that they eventually knew they couldn't cash should the voters say NO and state funding dwindled. Several times now they have asked and look at the predicament we are in now. My question to you is again, should this fail, how important is that laptop, new school and stadium to you? What would you do should this fail again? Go back to the primitive era like Sandusky, Huron, Margaretta, Oak Harbor, etc.?

Bherrle

I will reply later this evening 15th. Need to get to family time right now.

Bherrle

Wald,

I never said they did away with textbooks. I checked with my junior daughter to be sure my perception was correct before my first post. Textbooks for most if not all classes exist, but they get used, taken home, etc, much less due to the online textbooks available for most classes. Wear and tear is less therefore replacement textbooks would be needed less often. I'm not trying to represent this as a "huge savings", but there is something there.

On keeping the laptops, I will find out for certain, but I was never of the mindset that they get to keep them after senior year. The students turn them in at the end of the school year, they don't keep them thru the summer. I just asked my daughter what her understanding is, and she doesn't think she gets to keep it after senior year, she's not expecting that, and neither are her parents. I can tell you that if they do get to keep them, I don't agree with that aspect of the program, and we would immediatley donate the laptop back to the school when she graduates in 2015.

Tsu Dho Nimh

E-textbooks are a significant savings to the textbook budget even when you include the cost of the technology needed to use them. In the scheme of the total budget it may not be a lot, every bit of savings adds up. Most districts use a five year rotation when replacing textbooks and at $50 - $150 per book, it does get costly.

fifteenthgreen

How much do the e-textbook rights cost?

underthebridge

It will eventually be like a subscription service.

fifteenthgreen

Wonder how much the subscription cost is?

Strong Schools ...

Cheaper than old textbooks and you can get the updates faster!

fifteenthgreen

Could we get by without this technology until the district is more financially stable? The students believe!

Bherrle

15th,

"The students believe so!" - what sampling of the student population is being taken to determine this?

Tsu Dho Nimh

Typically, it is around 40% of the cost. I do not know the cost to rent or lease the book for a limited period of time.

fifteenthgreen

Thank you.

fifteenthgreen

I'm just as concerned about the state of the other districts in the area. Are any in the same financial shape as we are?

Bherrle

15th - I already previously stated that I wasn't assuming wear and tear was a very large number. But it is something. No, I don't feel other districts are going broke due to that, in fact that thought never occurred to me till you mentioned it.

fifteenthgreen

Everyone should be thinking about saving the fifteen teacher's jobs!

Bherrle

I agree. But only if it is done the right way, and those 15 jobs are actually needed.

fifteenthgreen

It is something? What is it exactly. What are the exact, audited figures of savings using e-books vs. the wear and tear cost/replacement on textbooks?

Bherrle

I don't know that those official/audited numbers exist, but I will try to find out. It is my opinion that there is at least a small textbook savings there. Nothing huge, nothing that would tip scales.

Bherrle

I'm just starting to get up to speed on our own district, I do not know the status of others.

Bherrle

Fact - Supt. Gunner does not live in Perkins Township, and pays no taxes into the district.

Perception - Supt. Gunner has no "skin in game", and does not care what it costs the taxpayers.

Realilty - Supt. Gunner pays higher school taxes in the district he lives in, than he would in Perkins. A lot of people "work" outside the school district they live in. The five member school board do all live in the district (by law), and therefore are voting to impose these fees or higher taxes (levies) on themselves too. They do have "skin in the game."

My opinion - Where Supt. Gunner lives is a non-issue.

fifteenthgreen

One thing we can't do is assume the outcome of anything. It is our job to leave no stone unturned to reach a positive outcome for all parties involved. Agree?

Bherrle

15th,

I won't assume anything, pass or fail. Someone earlier asked for facts. I'll provide them as I get comfortable with them. What anyone chooses to do with the information, change their mind or not, is their business.

Bherrle

I'll cross that bridge when I come it. There are a number of options, but I'm not going to dwell on that now.

I could hardly blame Supt. Gunner for not moving here, for several reasons, but him living here is a non-issue anyway. I'm not sure I agree with him receiving a travel stipend, but I don't know the details there yet so I'll reserve judgement on that until I do.

Bherrle

You changed this from "assume it will fail" to "assuming it will pass."

I won't assume the outcome, I'll keep an open mind. I'll continue to get the facts, and I'll do what I can to help get the levy passed, assuming that I don't find something out that changes my mind. However I realize that there are those who can't be convinced. But you have that anywhere.

RMyer

The students do not get to keep the laptops when they graduate.

fifteenthgreen

Thank you. What do they do with the old computers? Roll them over to the 9th grade/junior high or return to Apple as part of the lease?

underthebridge

Parents were told upon graduation Seniors would be able to purchase the one that they had. Not sure if that has happened.

Also, RMyers - do you realize that corporations don't change their computers as frequently as this school system has?

RMyer

I've been in the school system for 11 years and haven't seen "frequent computer changes." Prior to the laptop program our district technology system (both infrastructure and desk top computers) were in a bit of a mess (I could go into more detail if you wish). I recall the laptops being switched out one time so far. I think that the laptop buyback at the time was in the neighborhood of $400,000 which was receipted back into the p.i. fund.

Corporations update hardware and software depending on their individual business needs and compatibility issues with new applications. Some go longer than others. Most of what I have read indicates that businesses typically plan on a life of five years for the computers. The "behind the scenes" technology gets upgraded as well (routers, servers, wireless equipment, software and whatever else is needed). Businesses that rely heavily on technology aren't going to allow it to become obsolete to the point of harming business.

Strong Schools ...

They give them to the younger students who are starting the lap top program. The computers are constantly being recycled between the students. The old information is wiped off the computer and the updates are set up for the new student.

fifteenthgreen

If the students use their own computers instead of a school leased computer, can the software and hardware be updated to adapt to the present programs implemented in the district?

Bherrle

I would think that is possible, but first you would have to get every parent to purchase laptops, and they would have to be compatible with whatever the schools system and programs are.

RMyer

The senior's laptops are reset, reimaged, and recycled for the next group of students who are coming up. When Apple took back laptops during the last exchange, the district was credited with a $400,000 "buy back" which was put into the p.i. fund according to our treasurer. Also, keep in mind that there was p.i. money spent for technology prior to the laptop program.

fifteenthgreen

Thank you, RMyer!

Bherrle

Thank you for that info R Myer.

oldpirate

30% voter turnout. The no voters were the motivated voters. There could be a increase in the yes voters many of whom took things for granted. They are paying attention now. We will see.

fifteenthgreen

Agree, oldpirate. Sadly, we have to bank on that philosophy but you still can't assume.

Strong Schools ...

Support our students yes voters!

fifteenthgreen

Support our students and the fifteen teachers being let go by looking at all alternatives should we fail again!

underthebridge

I'll never understand why cracked floors necessitate a new building. Exposed wires sound like an immediate safety hazard that should be addressed regardless of whether a new building is erected or not. Closed bathrooms seem like something the Health Department would've addressed.

fifteenthgreen

Agree! They should have fixed/remodeled the restrooms when they conducted a massive renovation of the entire boys and girls home and visiting locker rooms, swimming locker rooms, PE locker rooms/training areas/coaches offices, the student study lounge, the auditorium, etc... That locker room renovation extends from the gymnasium to the cafeteria. Massive expense. Why were these restrooms and exposed wires ignored during those renovations? Also, you could have fixed them when you took out the old tennis courts, added new ones and constructed the new parking area in the rear of the high school. Why ignore the safety issues then? We're talking about the safety of our children, right?

eriemom

Shoulda, coulda, didn't and this is where we are. That 2.+ mill permanent improvement levy voted for and renewed this year just didn't go far enough.

I wasn't able to attend the last BOE meeting. I wish that the SR would upload it.

fifteenthgreen

Agree, eriemom but why aren't we able to forecast far enough ahead to allow ourselves a cushion or did we spend the cushion we responsibly created for ourselves frivolously? Good intentions but is this really the right group to be giving a massive, blank check to? We need some serious number crunchers on that board that are willing to take an even harder line stance! Remember, people are losing their jobs because of this mess and not because of voter reluctance.

Wald

I had an interesting conversation today with a high-ranking township official who had a meeting with Gunner to discuss the timing of the school and police levy a few months ago. He told me that what he got out of the meeting was that Gunner is going to build his high school NO MATTER WHAT. He said Gunner was prepared to cut and threaten cuts to pass the levy and get his building built. You can believe me or not, but I wanted to put this out there because I'm tired of the guilt trips, bullying, and misinformation from the supporters. Make no mistake, this is a building levy disguised as an operational levy. This sets a precedence. A yes vote means the super and BOE can use taxpayer money carte blanche for whatever they want without a public vote, then just put up operational levies and threaten cuts later to pay for it. Donutshop guy used to post about this, but he and his family were bullied and threatened by supporters so he stopped posting about the levy. What does that tell you? Voting no protects our democratic rights and avoids a dictatorship where bullying is used whenever one doesn't get their own way.

Bherrle

I'd like to talk with this official myself. If there is a way you would be comfortable connecting me to him privately I would appreciate it.

44870 South

What??? Why isn't this bulldozing considered criminal?? This whole thing is so wrong on so many levels and just keeps getting worse. Sad, disturbing and infuriating all at the same time. There has to be some law passed that keeps school districts, special interest groups, etc. from bullying tax payers into passing levies and issues...or at least a time frame before which they can return to the ballot.

Bherrle

I would urge everyone to reserve judgement on the meeting with a "high level township official" until you know the facts of the conversation. For a couple of reasons:

1. The conversation took place months ago. Memory (over time) has a funny way of changing in one's mind what was actually said, on both sides of any conversation.

2. Who is this official? With no name behind it, I don't put much stock in the comments from this person.

3. The phrase "what he got out of the meeting" implies opinion. It does not state what was actually said or discussed. It's the "officials" interpretation of what was said, what he thinks it means.

4. What is the officials position on the levy, his/her opinion of the board and Superintendent? Bias could be playing a factor in how this person interpreted what was said.

I would like to know exactly what was said, who the "official" is, and in what context things were said, before using that meeting as any influence on my vote.

fifteenthgreen

Now you're committing "political suicide". Are you on the blogging committee set up by Mr. Gunner? I trust Wald's statement as he has been spot on with many issues in regard to this community and other topics of discussion. My suggestion to you, being new to the community, is get out there and go door to door. Walk the streets. Build some relationships for yourself.

Bherrle

15th,

In response to your comment/question "Now you're committing "political suicide". Are you on the blogging committee set up by Mr. Gunner?"

I am not trying to be political at all. In my opinion, there is no room for politics at the local level. I'm not trying to gain any personal favor or standing by sharing my thoughts/perspective. I only hope to have my own questions answered, get facts (not opinion or hearsay) and I hope I can provoke additional thought by providing my perspective. I'll meet people and build relationships in due time, as I accomplish the above.

I am not on nor am I aware of any blogging committee, set up by Mr. Gunner or anyone else. I am just a citizen with something to say. If you feel I don't have as much right to do that as someone who has been a lifetime resident, then I respect your opinion, but disagree with it.

I don't know Wald from Adam. Not knowing him at all, I have no basis to believe or not believe what he says. I need to, and urge others in my position, to find out for themselves. Notice I did not say what he said wasn't true. I'm saying I can't count it as hard fact yet because I see potential holes because of the context. That is no reflection on my opinion of Wald, his character, honesty, etc. I really don't have one, as I don't know him. I may come to find out I agree with him, or I may not, or it may be something in between. If you are comfortable with Wald's objectivity, that's fine, that's your choice, you've been here a lot longer than me.

Strong Schools ...

I agree Bherrle!

I would like to speak with this "official" myself. There are so many false statements on this blog that it is so hard to keep up with all of them. Wald or anyone else, could you please share who this official is so I could make a phone call or stop by their office.

citizen

It really doesn't matter who this official is. It is just a fact that this tax increase is a building levy being threatened and sold as an operations levy.

Multiple no votes to new facilities/campus... Gunner moves operating funds to building funds... Claims school district has no money to operate and provide an education and on brink of financial disaster. Attempting to pass an operations levy. Took out $3,000,000 to design and plan new high school. As soon as levy is passed, new facilities and construction will begin.

Can I make it any simpler?

Bherrle

Citizen,

Sure it matters who the official is. If it really doesn't matter who the official is, then I have to question if it really matters what he/she says.

And yes, you can make it simpler, by not representing your opinion as fact, and when listing facts, it would be simpler if you listed them correctly. I will explain more tomorrow.

fifteenthgreen

I agree with the both of you that there are so many false statements on this blog, and at board meetings and levy campaign meetings. One of them being, "No, we're not going to build a new school until we're financially stable". The "Future Perkins Academy" sign is still posted at the stadium. The admitted 1.7 million dollar gift paid towards said stadium. The 3 million dollar design loan. On and on and on. Who cares what an official said. Just one more No vote. All that matters is what the voters are saying. NO Don't you get it? The very people that write the checks. Who works for who anymore? We are not students. They are so used to living and working in a child's world, dictating their every move. Welcome to the real world people. Now you're being reminded who you work for and answer to. The voting public! You two on the blog committee are not helping the cause. Mr. Gunner, they are not helping your cause...whatever that is!

Bherrle

15th,

Dr. Gunner is not at all directing what I say. I say what I say as my own man, a citizen, with my own opinion. I found out some interesting things today that I will share much more of tomorrow. Such as the fact that two 25 person committees (filled by the community) both recommended to the board the facility direction (Future Perkins Academy) that many are complaining about now (calling it Gunner's campus), at different times in the time frame of 2008-2010. I also learned that three public meetings were held on the "inside/outside" millage issue, to inform the public , and hear comments/ gauge public opinion before the board voted on it. Attendance at each meeting was less than 100 people per meeting, and some attendees went to more than one of the meetings. These decisions were not made in vacuum's as some are suggesting. The more I learn for myself, the more I see that the public was involved, and/or was given ample opportunity to be involved/imformed.

In response to your comment "Who cares what an official said" - Wald apparently cares about it, as he brought it up, perhaps you should discuss that with him. I can say that I don't care what the official said base on the context and it being anonomous.

Yes, I get it. 25-30% of all potential voters have said no to funding a new building via a special levy. Will pick it up tomorrow.

44870 South

Eventually the average American tax payer is just going to cave on all issues...We are being bullied, told we are uniformed, misguided, intolerant, narrow-minded, etc. There will become the day when our Constitutional right to cast our vote will be such a miserable and exhausting experience, that people will simply become indifferent on all issues and not vote at all. That's how the bullies and big mouths will get what they want. How pitiful these tactics, to browbeat people until they have just had it, is the only way they will get their levy passed. If they pass this levy it will NOT be because of the grass roots "Perkins Pride" turn out. It will be because people are just sick of hearing about it.

fifteenthgreen

!

Bradley Linton

Pretty simple. Schools need money to pay staff, utility bills, and building maintenance. This is why they put levies on the ballot. Trash the levy, and this is what we get. Spending cuts. Don't act surprised.

fifteenthgreen

Far from simple!!!

Thomas Paine

Really enjoying this blog. Lots of good arguments and thoughtful comments from both sides, amazingly. What bothers me most is a lot of people deem themselves experts, trash the admin, the board etc, with no evidence other than perception and feelings. Feelings that on some issues are unjustified. On others based on answers I have recieved are justified. And none of this is simple. None of it. Behrrle we need more like you moving into the community. People that listen, research, learn, and have some lack of trust but not an unhealthy amount and are willing to be open minded enough to swing their vote either way based on the information they recieve. Honestly I don't care which way you vote..just do it based on fact. I have seen numbers thrown out here and asked for a source and the best answer I get is I have heard...not good enough for me. A lot of school officials not just ours are correct in their assessment as well that Ohio and Columbus has failed in setting up a working funding system. I am extremely glad my job isn't funded the way the schools are. But the fact remains none of us are in those executive sessions the board holds. Its why I keep saying this is a PR issue. They have to have legitimate reasons in their priorities. Reasons right now most dont believe. Do they differ from ours currently- after several no votes...yes they do. Its the boards job and supts job to get the public behind them in the same direction. Which hasnt happened. Browbeat, intimidate, misappropriate are words I have seen used to describe what is happening. This board, other than committing political suicide with their tactics, from what I have read, listened to and observed, has what they believe to be the kids best interest at heart.

underthebridge

I agree with someone a few posts back who says this isn't about PR or politics. This is about leadership. If you are an effective leader, people follow you and you have influence. These people are ineffective leaders. They have lost their ability to influence the community and therefore can't get the public to follow them with an affirmative vote on the levies.

But this inability to lead is more than just about the levies. Morale, even before this financial crisis, among the staff and teachers has been low and I don't think it has to do with just the concessions to their wages and benefit packages.

Ask around and if you seem trustworthy, they will tell you.

fifteenthgreen

Well said Mr. Paine. I'm just afraid too much damage has been done by those committing the "political suicide". I really believe the community will reunite with the same immense amount of pride that once existed in Perkins Schools and is showing up via this passionate, yet sometimes colorful, blog. Everyone cares or they wouldn't be on here voicing their opinion and sharing their knowledge and ideas. Unfortunately, the wrong vote comes first for the schools, teachers and students. Once changes are made with the removal of those that actually have committed the "political suicide", I personally think the citizens will regain the necessary trust and back the schools wholeheartedly. I don't necessarily believe that by removing members from any school board you're really going to change a flawed, funding system, but as with any political position, corporation, board or coaching job, results, trust and confidence are vital for survival. Sadly, for this Superintendent and Board of Education, they have lost all of the above with many of the voters for one reason or another. Unfortunately, for them, the citizens of Perkins Township have spoken loudly and are demanding the obvious. They simply must go!

Thatgirl123

I personally think the way they state things the board & Gunner is why it makes things 10x worst, it just seems to I myself and many others they scream MONEY while, if they would just basically re-word what they say into something people will interpret much better than they are as of this moment people might think the levy will be a semi decent idea. Yes, it is going to be taking tax payers money in which some people don't even have to give because they need to still place food on the table for their family. Maybe if they were to prove us that this levy would be a very well idea and make Perkins Schools a very well school for children to attend instead of barking down the tax payers and saying if you vote no all this is going to happen basically because you voted no. I'm not for the levy or against it but I really think they need to watch the way they say things.

MrGadfly

830 posts. Glad to see so much interaction.

First, all of these fees being bantered about are nothing more than an empty threat. The school board and superintendent are taking a page out of the township's playbook. Threaten a cataclysmic situation " no police if levy fails" and ride it until you get what you want. We all know there would be police and we all know the huge pay to play cost is a similar trick.

The school board and superintendent know what will pass this levy. They are only worried about their legacy at this point in time.

Option #1 The school board and superintendent submit their resignations subject to the outcome of the levy. If the levy passes their resignations are accepted. If the levy fails they keep their jobs.

Option #2 Return the millage switch or obtain a promise from the board to not start the building prior to the upcoming election of the school board.

Simple solutions to passing this levy.

My bet is they will ignore these options. There are egos at play in this battle of wills.
Is the community strong enough to vote "no" until the election of a new board?

"Vote no until they are gone" should be the new rallying cry for a community that doesn't want to give up their control of building issues forever.

This community is at a crossroads as Mr. Gasteier, Director of Communications at Perkins School has eluded. Do you wish to continue to control your public schools or are you willing to give up that American freedom for eternity?

MrGadfly

My friend, Donutshopguy, has a unique idea in regards to the possibility of a new building.

First, he believes in this community. He will spend the rest of his life in this community. He will have grandchildren attend this school system.

His idea is being stonewalled. Why? The present school board and superintendent have spent over $3 million dollars, of your money, to continue an academy concept that is not wanted by the community.

There are other options to the present building promoted by the school board and superintendent. They just don't want to hear them.

Bherrle

What is his idea, where can I find it?

fifteenthgreen

I miss Donutshopguy's insight. Much needed on this issue!

Bherrle

Pirate10,

I won't comment on the perception of him being a bully at this time, I didn't spend enough time observing Supt. Gunner to pick up on anything.

I'd like to provide a perspective on the comment "It is a shame that the pay to play fees don't effect any of the board members because you have board members that are doctors and can afford to pay the $730.00 to play."

I don't feel that is a fair statement, and would ask you to reconsider. They are imposing those fees on themselves. The fact that they earn whatever they earn is not something they should have to apologize for. They did the work and dedicated themselves to becoming doctors, or whatever position they hold.

Also consider that they, on average, most likely own property above the average value of the common citizen, so they, in asking for these levies, have been and continue to be willing to impose upon themselves higher taxes than they are on most of the citizens.

MrGadfly

Donutshopguy tried to propose this concept in a meeting with Mr. Gunner and Mr. Gasteier months ago but was rebuffed. This concept was proposed prior to the school board encumbering over $3 million dollars for an academy voted down twice by the taxpaying citizens.

This concept does not relieve the community from the cost of a new school. It offers the community a voting right to decide the cost and needs of the community. It eliminates egos and agendas of a few and rest the responsibility on the voting public.

The objective is to place a minimal building (meets minimal government requirements) on a levy and each individual special wing ( music, art, pool, auditorium gym and ect.) as a levy item which can be voted on by the public if they deem them necessary.

Thus, for example, the basic school could be voted on for $20 million dollars and each wing can be voted on as a seperate cost. The public decides the scope and expenditure they wish to fund.

Wings could be added by the school or by the township depending on possible funding availability.

Yes, the school board and township trustees would have to give up their kingdoms and work together.

God, you can only believe that there could be some cooperation for the benefit of the community.

Bherrle

Mr Gadfly or Donutshopguy.

If the public votes for only a "meets minimal government requirements" building, and votes no to all the "wings", doesn't the cirriculum then have to back the whole way up to "meets minimal government requirements" also? In effect, the public would be deciding the specifics of the building, as well as the cirriculum?

I'd like to learn more but so far I'm not in favor of turning all those decisions over to the general public. I'd rather the representative, elected board, the Supt. they choose, and the trained personnel they involve make those choices.

Again, I correct this statement. The "Academy" was not voted down. The idea of funding it via a special levy was.

Thomas Paine

My guess is there is some legal issue to separate levies or state guidelines and even more likely a cost issue with running multiple levies at once. After reading some really boring documents and other Ohio Revised codes, I have come to the realization many logical and great ideas just aren't possible due to Ohio Revised codes and school funding legal issues. That's why I go back to my belief that the Board and Supt are fundamentally flawed in their ability to properly convey why they have made the decisions they have to the public. If you want to call that flaw leadership/PR/ politics etc; call it what you want but it is my belief that it is the main issue and why there is so much distrust. There is a middle ground to explaining things so 1) the general public that doesn't want to or doesn't have the time to do the research and 2) the people that do want to research and ask more questions don't call BS at the same time.

RMyer

I would be very interested in your ideas about how to specifically communicate issues such as school funding and our current situation to the general public. I have thought about it for a long time and thought some of the communication efforts were better than before (going back 5 years and longer. But even when trying to put information in front of the public, the district has been criticized for the cost of doing so. What's the answer(s)?

fifteenthgreen

RMyer, I would welcome that communication and feel that it would be money well spent on the districts part, even if voters are opposed to spending tax dollars on marketing pieces. Once in writing though, you can't take it back, which is why many are so careful when putting such information in said format. Push for it, though because it should eliminate much uncertainty and false numbers and open up the fact checking floodgates which is necessary for all parties.

Thomas Paine

Some criticism is ok. You are never going to make everyone happy. There will always be that group of people that aren't going to be happy no matter what is done- as you have seen the educated no voters are still posting asking questions posting concerns- the same with the educated yes voters- you need to engage the middle in a better manner. Simplifying the message would be my suggestion. I know it sounds silly considering people want more information, but the flyers that have been sent out have way too much information for voters to digest. Most people are not going to take the time to truly understand inside and outside millage. If people want to dig for more info that's fine - source and footnote the numbers on the flyers with less information so its easily found on the perkins website for those of use that ask too many questions. People are generally confused by how school funding works. A school funding 101 FAQ flyer on one 1/2 page of paper with a good amount of white space would be good. The messages sent out now have to many words and info and most people wont take the time read it. Doing a PSA on the radio stations- 1 basic school funding fact a day- 10 seconds or less. I think the message received from the board is too technical for the general public that doesn't want to research to understand the nuances. 1 tweet or 1 facebook post a day as well. It needs to be broken down into chunks. I too would welcome that information. The public has been pretty clear about their concerns. Take one of the concerns and answer it in a short brief message as a PSA or tweet or facebook post. Personally I like too much information- most people do not.

Thomas Paine

Call me crazy but I would like to be able to opt into a montly text message about important items from the board meetings from the school or things going on, sports, clubs, fundraisers, etc. Use Twitter as an example- get the message across in 140 characters or less. Just to spur a conversation, you might be surprised in the response you get.

RMyer

Thank you for the reasoned, common sense comments. I will pass them along to the appropriate individuals. I do agree that all forms of communication need to be used since there are no doubt a number of folks who don't live in the Twitter, Facebook, etc. universe.

Thomas Paine

On of the main questions that Board members should ask is "how is this going to look to the public" Just because its legal and you CAN do it, doesn't mean you should. And if they decide they HAVE to do it that way, they should be able to answer "How do we explain to the public what we just did"

underthebridge

+10

fifteenthgreen

A leader has spoken!

Thomas Paine

I have actually had this argument with a past board member. The response I got was we did explain it. My response was if you did explain it why are so many people out there not understanding why certain moves were made? If you surround yourself in a locked room with a bunch of yes men, you will never get a levy passed. You need to engage the public.

fifteenthgreen

Smart man!

eriemom

Yep. Group Think, "everyone agrees with our plan."

Obviously they didn't.

fifteenthgreen

Currently, a timeline of decisions and events is being constructed on all issues, promises, threats, plans, cuts, high fives, building surveys, ribbon cuttings, etc... that will finally spell out why the public has lost trust. Once completed, it will be dispersed throughout the community and social media ending all doubt as to the districts true agenda. Please keep adding to that timeline!

eriemom

Is there currently a FB page?

fifteenthgreen

In the works.

donutshopguy

Just adding a little clarity.

I discuss this separate item voting method with the Board of Elections. They contacted the Secretary of State for Ohio. There is no problem with listing several items to vote in a specific levy. I do my homework.

Thomas Paine

No disrespect meant donutshopguy.

donutshopguy

My proposal offers middle ground. Those in charge want no part of it.

eriemom

Welcome back donut.

RMyer

I don't know much about your plan; I'm just going by what I read on here, so please bear with my questions. The ODE website still lists fine arts (music, art, drama, etc.) and phys. ed. standards to be taught for grades K-12, and high school students have to have so many fine arts and phys. ed. credits to graduate (unless that is changing, and I'm not aware of that). If the public decides to not vote for art room space, music space, gym space, etc., how would the proposed plan allow the district to satisfy the state requirements?

fifteenthgreen

Yes, welcome back!

MrGadfly

RMyer,

This new building is not designated K-12. So some of these factors do not apply. But the state requires a minimal requirement for those specials. This can be accommodated in the basic building. A pool, gymnasium, auditorium, state of the art facilities for music and art are not required.

This is not a negative against a building. This is a middle ground concept rather than the all or nothing proposal being pushed by the school board and superintendent. This concept puts the scope of this building in the hands of the public rather than the board and superintendent. This concept takes away the negative atmosphere surrounding the board and superintendent.

In all honesty, it may cost $50 million dollars to give the kids everything. But, the taxpaying public makes the decision. It's a vote with options not an all or nothing bully action.

Thomas Paine

donutshopguy, Agree that that is how this administration has handled many of the questions and concerns from the public. I understand they can't answer each and every option personally- its just not possible, however it does appear it is their way or the highway, and its not just a small select few people that feel this way.

underthebridge

+100 ... and it should not get to the impasse of "if you think you can do a better job, run for the BOE."

fifteenthgreen

Spoken like a true leader!

beesknees

Perhaps some humor is in order? Would an alien from outer-space who possesses high intelligence see a difference between watching a dog chase its tail and reading all of these comments?

RMyer

More humor (or an attempt at same): Perhaps the alien would rush back into its intergalactic spaceship and head home at warp speed shaking its head and getting as far away as possible from the way we are forced to fund schools in Ohio. Trying to make sense of it would probably make its large cranium explode if it didn't get out of Ohio's air space quickly enough. Or, better yet, perhaps it would demand, "Take me to your leaders!" and would force them to finally fix the funding issue.

Thomas Paine

My only hope is that First Contact is civil. lol

fifteenthgreen

My only hope is that we could actually find a "leader" to take the alien to!

Thomas Paine

Sometimes I feel like I am living in the movie "Idiocracy" if you have never seen it...its worth a watch.

fifteenthgreen

Nice :)

Vote Informed

In the past 18 years, Perkins voters have passed 1 levy. The cost of living has increased since then, and so have the costs of educating a student. It's time to show our Perkins Pride and pass a levy. Did you know Perkins Schools have the lowest tax rate in Erie county? If we passed this levy, it would cost a homeowner of a house valued at 150k an additional $25.76 a month. How does that even compare to the cost of the new Pay to Play fees? I did the math, and for my children to participate in their regular school activities, it would cost well over $1,000. And neither of them play sports. If we vote no, it would not only cost more for Perkins Parents, but 14 of my children's most talented teachers would loose their jobs. I'm voting YES on the August levy and I'm proud of my decision! Please join me in voting YES for the future of our community and our children.

citizen

"In the past 18 years, Perkins voters have passed 1 levy. The cost of living has increased since then, and so have the costs of educating a student. "

PLEASE tell me you are more intelligent than actually believing that Perkins Schools has been operating at the same revenue levels for the past 18 years. Please, please, please. You state costs of educating a student have increased, so have revenues to the school district.

This is not about revenue to a school district or operations. THIS IS ABOUT GETTING GUNNER'S NEW HIGH SCHOOL BUILT ONE WAY OR THE OTHER. It is very simple to understand this.

Vote Informed

Citizen- I never said they were operating at the same revenue, only that the cost of educating our students has increased along with the cost of living. Did you attend the last board meeting like I did? At the board meeting Dr. Gunner stated that all plans to renovate/rebuild are on hold until we are more fiscally sound. Vote yes or no, like my username states, vote informed. And if that means attending the meetings before putting information out there, then you should attend these board meetings or ask the Board questions at http://perkins.k12.oh.us/Levy.aspx.

fifteenthgreen

We don't believe what he says at the meetings. How can we? The story changes by the day. Just read the past SR articles and timeline.

Bherrle

15th,

In response to your comment "We don't believe what he says at the meetings. How can we? The story changes by the day. Just read the past SR articles and timeline."

Then request a face to face meeting with Supt. Gunner so that you can look him square in the eyes. I did, and what was supposed to be a 30 minute meeting resulted in him giving me 1hr 45min of his time. He answered every question I asked and offered more time in the future should I have more questions. He is not the devious bully some are making him out to be.

I would caution anyone developing an opinion to not do so soley by reading the Sandusky Register.

citizen

You really do not believe that, do you? You do call yourself "informed" so I am assuming you're just repeating the propaganda.

Just a few weeks ago Gunner took out a $3,000,000 loan from Citizens Bank to design and plan the new high school building!!!

THIS IS A BUILDING LEVY. Gunner removed millions of dollars from operations funds to building funds because voters rejected multiple times brand new campus facilities. GUNNER IS BUILDING THEM ANYWAY! He now has to replace all the money he stole from operations/education. That's why this levy is for. THIS IS A BUILDING LEVY. As soon as this levy is passed, construction will commence for Gunner's new buildings.

It really is quite simple. What Gunner means by "fiscally sound" is as soon as this building levy is passed, it is full steam ahead on construction.

Since you are so very informed, please explain to me why, if Gunner and Board were truly putting building plans on hold for the forseeable future, they would take out a $3,000,000 loan to design new buildings!! (Remember, Gunner is proclaiming Perkins is on the brink of financial ruin. He has stated if the levy does not pass there will no longer be a district and he will have to dismantle the district.... that stuff actually came out of the man's mouth! If that's true, it will take YEARS AND YEARS to become financially stable... yet he takes out $3M loan to design facilities).

It doesn't make sense. You can't have your cake and eat it to.

RMyer

HB 920 passed in 1976 limits a district to collecting only the dollars that are authorized by the voted levy amounts. Income from voted levies cannot by law increase due to inflation. As property values increase, the auditor adjusts the voted millage so that the money collected does not exceed the voted millage. This "effective millage" is lower than the voted millage. For example, if we voted for 26 mills to be collected and property values have gone up, then the effective millage rate would be lower (20 mills for example). HB 920 is the prime reason school districts all around the state have to be on the ballot so often. No politician has the backbone to take on HB 920.

Property taxes from new construction make it on to the district tax roll, but the districts only see that benefit for one year, again as a result of HB 920.

The district has pursued other sources of revenue such as from open enrollment, and those sources have reached their limits. Unfortunately, the state has also reduced the payments to our district by $2,000,000 and counting the past couple of years. We are considered a "property rich" district, and the state's stance is the local community will have to take care of its own schools.

Strong Schools ...

Citizen,

The board announced cuts at the board meeting. Those cuts will include: specials for all the schools, the gifted program at Meadowlawn, students will have to pay to play for all the sports, band, choir, and school clubs at the middle school and high school. This is very detrimental to our students. All we want to do is get our programs back and support our students. Also, we need to make sure our community is able to thrive for the future. We want people to move to our community!

We are still trying to operate on the same school budget we had 13 years ago. Open enrollment and grant opportunities have helped to bring in extra monies to the district.

The state has cut over 2 million dollars from Perkins and they could cut more! You know that inflation occurs over time and we need to pass this levy to help fund our CURRENT schools. This levy is not about new buildings...it is about keeping what we have!

fifteenthgreen

If the ODE standards and state requirements pertaining to the music program are as stated RMyer, how is Mr. Kustec going to be able to legally teach over 150 band students by himself since the only other band director, Mr. Miller has been sent packing in the latest round of cuts........or has he??? He posted on the band facebook page that Mr. Gunner told him to proceed as normal through August. Can he legally do this? The band facebook page states he is still working, requesting kids to show up for summer music, writing drills, etc... Is he possibly being used as a tool to sway voters like Tom O was during past levy issues? Just a little curious!

Vote Informed

Fifteenthgreen- As my children participate in band, I too have also been actively checking the Facebook page. Mr. Miller stated that he would proceed as normal throughout the summer. My kids have told me that he is writing the entire show this year, and that he is not completely finished, so he's still working on that. He also has been giving them band lessons, like all summers before. The pending cuts won't be put into effect until the beginning of august, so technically he still works for the school. I think what you may have been confused with is that they stated that band camp will happen, levy passage or not.

fifteenthgreen

Thank you, vote informed. But how is Mr. Kustec legally going to teach that many kids in what we all consider a very prestigious program? After all, it still is a required class. Please don't get me wrong, either. I feel it is a huge mistake making that cut which is why I find it hard to believe.

RMyer

The second band director position was officially cut by the BOE last week as were other positions. Teaching contracts from 2012 have not expired yet, so he should still be performing whatever duties he has for now. I have not seen the proposed teaching schedule for high school music for this fall. In the past, the band directors split time between Meadowlawn, Briar, and the high school. At the high school marching band was held in one period with both band directors assisting since the band members were taken outside to practice (at least that's the way it was done two years ago). The concert band and wind ensembles were split into two different periods. I do not believe there are regulations limiting class sizes at the high school (but, I agree, it will be very difficult for Mr. K to do this by himself). I think "proceed as normal" through August is due to not having a levy result as of now. Also, if students have to pay the $220 participation fees for band, those will cover a supplemental contract for band that may be authorized by the board. Joel Miller may have an opportunity to help with band under that scenario, but his teaching position was eliminated. People can't support themselves with only a supplemental contract. If you need more info, or if you think this info I provided is incorrect, please contact the school administration for more detail.

fifteenthgreen

Thank you, RMyer. Probably not the wisest area/program to eliminate a teacher considering the amount of students involved in the program but the smartest from a political standpoint. Impossible for one teacher to conduct a class of 150 ? plus. Where is the teacher's union on this one?

citizen

Voteinformed- this is in response to your comment on the last page. It didn't reply correctly and was moved around. (The commenting features the Register has really is second to none.. sarcasm)

You really do not believe that, do you? You do call yourself "informed" so I am assuming you're just repeating the propaganda.

Just a few weeks ago Gunner took out a $3,000,000 loan from Citizens Bank to design and plan the new high school building!!!

THIS IS A BUILDING LEVY. Gunner removed millions of dollars from operations funds to building funds because voters rejected multiple times brand new campus facilities. GUNNER IS BUILDING THEM ANYWAY! He now has to replace all the money he stole from operations/education. That's why this levy is for. THIS IS A BUILDING LEVY. As soon as this levy is passed, construction will commence for Gunner's new buildings.

It really is quite simple. What Gunner means by "fiscally sound" is as soon as this building levy is passed, it is full steam ahead on construction.

Since you are so very informed, please explain to me why, if Gunner and Board were truly putting building plans on hold for the forseeable future, they would take out a $3,000,000 loan to design new buildings!! (Remember, Gunner is proclaiming Perkins is on the brink of financial ruin. He has stated if the levy does not pass there will no longer be a district and he will have to dismantle the district.... that stuff actually came out of the man's mouth! If that's true, it will take YEARS AND YEARS to become financially stable... yet he takes out $3M loan to design facilities).

It doesn't make sense. You can't have your cake and eat it to.

Vote Informed

Citizen- I stand by my original statement, that Dr. Gunner has put these plans on hold. At the last board meeting, an audience member asked him face to face what his plans were. He stated that he was putting them on hold, and that's what I'm going to believe. He took out the $3,000,000 to build the new school, but when he realized what kind of situation we were in, he put the plans on hold. The money shortage came from the lack of state funding. This levy is to save 14 teaching positions. Not to build the new building.

fifteenthgreen

Is the board willing to put that in writing? Are they willing to publicly guarantee that a school will not be built with the funds they are asking for? In addition, how are they going to pay that loan back should the levy fail again? The 14 teaching positions weren't on the chopping block prior to the May levy failure. It was never even discussed, but I believe the new school was still in play then.

RMyer

There were separate phases of cuts presented prior to the May levy and both phases were passed out to the public. The cuts made earlier this year are permanent. Once the levy in May failed, then the BOE had to decide which of the cuts on the second phase list would have to be made in order to put a balanced budget forecast together for the state. When the levy passes in August, this round of cuts and the increased pay to play fees will be reversed as stated at the last board meeting.

fifteenthgreen

Should it fail though, which it very well could, how are they planning ahead for what I feel shouldn't be aloud. A teacher couldn't possibly prepare a plan and execute it properly for that size classroom. Just something to ponder.

citizen

No, the board is not willing to put that in writing.

Gunner is saying whatever he needs to to get a levy passed. Whether it is a lie, a threat, a deceitful response etc etc.

This building plans are not on hold. As soon as this levy is passed, construction commences. This is a building levy, NOT an operations levy.

Bherrle

Citizen,

What is your plan, your suggestion, or what action would you take to address the significant building deficencies that exist?

citizen

First of all, I would determine if there are and to what extent "significant building deficiencies" exist. Gunner and Board had previously threatened taxpayers by proclaiming the high school presented a real and immediate danger to the students and community. As you know, the county building inspector denied many of Gunner and Board's claims regarding the status and safety of the high school building.

Secondly, I would determine WHY the buildings are in the state they are in, so the same mistakes are not repeated. As you know, the majority of the high school building is not any older than most of the high schools in the area, and in some cases, many years newer. You do not hear other school district leaders claiming their buildings present an immediate threat and danger to the safety and well-being of students, faculty and the community.

It is obvious the taxpayers will not support tax increases for new buildings, particularly under Gunner and this Board's (lack of) leadership. I think a few things would help change the minds of some taxpayers. Stop spending $1.1M+ annually so each student can have their own, personalized Apple laptop. Remove Gunner as superintendent. Significantly scale back the plans for a big, brand new, grandoise new campus. Keep the majority of the high school which was built most recently and good working condition in tact. Construct smaller additions to the current high school that would replace the oldest parts of the high school as I assume it would be less expense to replace rather than renovate those areas. In essence, much smaller, much more simple and fiscally conservative.

citizen

He took the $3,000,000 loan within the last several weeks.

"He took out the $3,000,000 to build the new schools, but when he realized what kind of situation we were in, he put the plans on hold."

Your quote.

He took the $3,000,000 loan out in the past several weeks. In just the past few weeks Gunner realized that Perkins Schools were allegedly on the brink of financial ruin and that they are near "dismantling themselves"?

Why on earth would you take out a $3,000,000 to design and plan new facilities, that you are saying you are putting "on hold" until you reach "financial stability" all the while stating you are near financial collapse and will soon have to "dismantle" your district.

Again, it just doesn't compute. You can't take a $3M loan out to design a new high school. Then say you aren't really building a new high school (yet you have a new $3M cash liability). Then say you are on the brink of financial disaster and have to make all these massive, draconian, threatening cuts but move millions of dollars from operating funds to building funds.

Again, it is very simple. It is common sense. This is a building levy. This is levy is not about saving 14 teaching positions.

As soon as this levy passes, the new high school plans are full speed ahead (note the $3M loan already taken out to design and plan it). This is not an operations levy.

By the way, if you really want to save 14 teachers, tell Gunner to quit spending $1M+ every year so every single student can have their own, personalized Apple laptop. That will save your 14 teachers.

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