Battle plans drawn

District seeks support for 10-year, 6.73-mill levy.
Alissa Widman Neese
Jun 18, 2013

Jason Bennett stood before a crowd Monday night to offer a simple but clear rallying cry.

As a contentious levy debate effectively divides the Perkins Schools community, Bennett urged a group of passionate levy supporters to consider it a unifying matter.

“The only way we’re moving forward is as a team, a community and as a cohesive school system,” Bennett said. “Put any personal interests aside and do this for our students and our school district.”

About 125 people gathered in the Perkins High School cafeteria for the kickoff meeting of Citizens for Perkins Schools, the district’s newly formed levy committee.

The group includes parents, teachers, school officials and township residents, all volunteers aiming to promote the district’s upcoming August levy.

The supporter turnout was at least 10 times that of the past levy campaign’s turnout, district communications director Chris Gasteier said.

“I won’t pass judgments as to why, because we’re just happy to see them here,” Gasteier said.

Perkins Schools is proposing a 10-year, 6.73-mill emergency operating levy on the August ballot, nearly 2 mills larger than a May proposal which voters overwhelmingly rejected. The levy would fund day-to-day operations for the district, including employee salaries and benefits.

Although the county auditor hasn’t yet certified its official amount, superintendent Jim Gunner has said the levy will cost the owner of a $150,000 home an additional $310 in taxes per year.

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This past week, board members approved about $2 million in district-wide reductions, including eliminating 15 staff members and hiking pay-to-participate fees to as much as $730 per sport for high school athletes. If voters approve the August levy, the cuts could be reversed and fees will return to normal.

Brandy Bennett, Citizens for Perkins Schools committee chair, organized Monday’s crowd into focused subcommittees with Jason, her husband. In the next couple months, subcommittee leaders will oversee various levy campaign efforts, including distributing signs, collecting funds, visiting residents door-to-door and dispersing information online and in-person.

“Everyone here is very passionate and ready to commit to getting this levy passed,” she said.

The group knows convincing a majority of township residents to vote in favor of the levy won’t be an easy task. Voters haven’t approved an emergency operating levy for the district since 2000, its only levy for new operating money in the past 18 years.

Still, the Bennetts are determined to do all they can to promote the cause. They moved to the area so their two children — now students at Perkins High School and Meadowlawn Intermediate School — could attend Perkins Schools. They don’t want to see the district’s stellar reputation marred by costly cuts, they said.

“There are still questions that need answered and still misinformation which we need to address,” Jason said. “We’re dedicated to doing it as a team. We’re all pulling in the same direction.”

Comments

Vote4Perkins

The Board ultimately decided to move the millage...and there was a board meeting where they asked the public's opinion on this matter. If you didn't agree with the move, why didn't you go to the meeting and speak up? What is done, is done...and now we have to accept the situation we are in. Are we going to punish the students and teachers, or are we going to elect new board members in November?

Gunner does pay taxes where he lives, and I'm sure its higher than it is here. He has brought the district over 2 million dollars in grants. I'm sure this far exceeds what he would be paying in taxes here.

VOTE YES!!!

VOTENO

.

YoMamma

Lol!

Perkins0602

Is your job to blog? Considering you are on here all the time!

PIrate4Ever

Meanwhile, you still have a job while numerous teachers who may "Get up and comment" do not because the school can not afford because there is no money. The "New School" is on hold until the Administration is financially stable. This levy is to generate NEW funds. The May Levy that passed was a renewal of an old levy. Please don't vote no just based what you think of the board. No matter if the Levy passes, they will still be the board. So, vote on the levy and get them out! I'm not telling you to vote yes or vote no. I want everyone to go to board meetings and be informed exactly how this is impacting yourself and your colleagues.

bobshumway92

Move the inside millage back. Problem solved. More than enough money to keep the sleeping teachers employed.

VOTENO

.

bobshumway92

There's no money to pay for the teachers yet we spent $1.7m on a new stadium, took out a loan for $3m for new building designs, moved operating funds over to building funds (inside millage). Need I go on?

ISPSP

This "sleeping" teacher was up at 5:00 AM, put in 4 miles, then prepared for class at 8:00 AM....

fifteenthgreen

Perkins Local Schools loses it's "excellence with distinction" rating and has been downgraded to "effective". Why? How and when did this happen?

ISPSP

I wish I could give you an answer. I'm not employed by Perkins Local Schools.....

Bherrle

15th,

In response to your post: "Perkins Local Schools loses it's "excellence with distinction" rating and has been downgraded to "effective". Why? How and when did this happen?"

You will see below that only one of Perkins buildings in the recent past earned that level, for one year, Meadowlawn in 09-10. The high school has been at excellent the last four years. The district as a whole has improved since Dr. Gunner has taken over, as you can see below. The district as a whole was never rated "excellence with distinction."

Here is a brief explanation of the Value-Added Measure.

http://stateimpact.npr.org/ohio/...

Here is a brief overview of how Perkins has faired on the ODE District Report cards from the previous ODE link.

Furry

08-09 Effectiive
09-10 Excellent
10-11 Effective
11-12 Effective

Meadowlawn

08-09 Effective
09-10 Excellent w/Distinction
10-11 Effective
11-12 Effective

Briar

08-09 Excellent
09-10 Effective
10-11 Effective
11-12 Effective

HS

08-09 Excellent
09-10 Excellent
10-11 Excellent
11-12 Excellent

District (with additional years)

03-04 Effective (Buccieri)
04-05 Effective
05-06 Continuous Improvement
06-07 Continuous Improvement
07-08 Effective (Rechtenwald/Gunner)
08-09 Effective
09-10 Excellent
10-11 Effective
11-12 Effective

Perkins seemed to decline significantly with the administration of Buccieri, the strike, etc. Things that have changed over the years include, among other things, the Curriculum Directors.

15th - If you are going to continually post the same thing over and over, please post factual information, as anything else is mis-leading.

Strong Schools ...

Must be nice to do nothing all day! All you do is sit at your computer and complain. Get a job!

local man

The committee numbers are impressive but I did not see any students in the pictures. For this levy to pass the students need to be actively involved. Students need to get away from the TV and the Internet and be out in the public eye. I wouldn't recognize any of my neighborhood kids since they sold their magazine subscriptions or perhaps during Trick or Treat.

DLK

They are already working on the college kids and recent grads. They have to get votes somewhere so they are working on getting them to vote absentee. Can't get enough yes votes honestly.

yesshedid

voting absentee is dishonest?? give me a break!

DLK

Asking my college kid to vote when she doesn't live, work or pay taxes here is as unethical as moving inside millage without a vote to build a school that the majority do not feel you need.

ProudPerkinsGrad

As a graduate of the school district and a current college student, I think voting absentee for OUR school is the least I can do. For twelve years, those teachers and staff members worked to ensure that my future would be a successful one. What is dishonest or wrong about returning the favor for those currently going through the system? I can't imagine my time at PHS without the sports I played, the clubs I joined, and the arts in which I participated. Saying these things aren't important is foolish! These programs help students make friends, find role models, and determine what they may do with their futures. For many, they even give them a reason to attend the entire school day just for that one class or sport.
Lastly, it's frightening to think about what can happen to our community without a strong school system behind it. We have all seen the effects of hard times in the area, but what keeps families in town is knowing they live in a safe township with great schools. What happens when the last part of that is gone? I currently am proud to tell people I graduated from Perkins High School and I know the education I received is top notch, I hope that it will continue to be this way.
Vote Yes for our schools!

Bherrle

Neither of them are unethical DLK, it is unethical, in my opinion, for you to state that.

Don't those students return here during break? Don't they work here during the summer and pay taxes?

Thank you DLK - you just helped to energize the absentee voters with your comment.

Bherrle

It is not dishonest DLK. It is reprehensable, in my opinion, for you to state that. Absentee voting is very important.

Don't those students return here during break? Don't they work here during the summer and pay taxes? DO you feel that those serving overseas in the military should not be allowed to vote? Take away their right to vote because they are away at college bettering themselves?? Wow, few comments on any of these blogs has gotten me angry, but yours just did.

Thank you DLK - you just helped to energize the absentee voters with your comment.

yesshedid

I was at the meeting (and no, I am not a Perkin's teacher nor is my child in sports.) There was about a half a dozen current students in attendance.

Pirate Mom

There are students on every committee! They understand how important this levy is. Vote yes on August 6 and maintain your home's value!

Perkins2060

Vote No!

Perkins0602

Vote Yes!

Wald

This is a levy for a new building. A vote yes is a vote for a dictatorship in Perkins Township. Please vote no to keep your democratic rights.

PIrate4Ever

This levy is NOT for a new school. The School has been put on hold until a time comes that the School is financially able to sustain with everything cut restored. This levy is strictly for new operating money that the tax payers have not given us since 2000. Which is by the way the longest streak without money in the state. Perkins is also the lowest school district tax rate in Erie County. We are currently 4 mils BELOW Sandusky City Schools. Please be informed. Go to www.perkins.k12.oh.us or check out our Face Book Page a/o Twiiter @ Citizens for Perkins Schools

bobshumway92

Move the inside millage back. Problem solved.

PIrate4Ever

While moving the Millage back may help the school eventually, they wont get the money until 2014. I do not agree at all with the millage movement but, whats done is done. Also, even if the board was to move the millage back, it only solves our problem for another year. The board will be back on the ballot next year with a levy. The passage or the upcoming levy will keep the school financially stable for many years. So please, pay it forward. Your parents did it for you. Please do it for your kids. Or your kids kids. Like I said please vote informed and well judged and vote out the board in November. It would be the best of both worlds.

VOTENO

.

Strong Schools ...

Moving the millage back will not solve the problem! The state has cut over 2 million from our district and we would be on the ballot anyway. The state and the feds are slashing our funding and we need to step up and take care of our students!

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