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

fifteenthgreen

Brian Middle School: Effective Grade B Value: Below

Vote Informed

I'll quote Strong Schools:

You need to get over this "B" rating. We are not the only district who was rated effective. There are other schools within the tri-county area that were rated effective or lower. Go to the ODE website and check out the results. You need to take some responsibility and research it yourself.

http://education.ohio.gov/Topics...

There are many indicators that go into rating a school district (some of which are not academic). Do not judge until you do the research and and figure out the facts. You blog on pure emotion but do not try to educate the public!

fifteenthgreen

Not good enough!

RMyer

I''ll toss out the same invitation to you that I did for another. If you would like to look at the details of the school report card reports, I would be happy to sit down with you, and we can see what is occurring within specific student groups. I'll buy your coffee. Huron and Edison middle schools were also Effective in 2012. I hope that doesn't mean those schools are a "disgrace" also.

Quite honestly, after arriving as a teacher 11 years ago after a 20 year career in private business and educating myself as much as possible about the operational and financial goings on, I believe we have a darn good school system with dedicated people. The folks I work with strive to help middle school students work through a rather rocky time in their development and to call what is done in that building a "disgrace" raises my dander (and I'm a pretty patient person). We make mistakes; we strive to get better; we start all over with a new group of students each year. Our high school has been rated Excellent which is also a testament to what goes on up there. I had one child graduate and another on the way to the high school, and there isn't a teacher at the high school who I don't doubt will prepare her for moving on with her education.

We work under a "grading" system the state has put in place that no private business would agree to have as its evaluation system either for its overall business or for its employees. That's a subject that I won't get started on.

Again, my offer stands to buy you coffee while we discuss this. I don't have the inclination to type all of my thoughts on the issues you raise on here. I'm going to stop now before I go further because I might type something I shouldn't, and I feel obligated to set a good example for my students because I talk about responsible use of social media to them during the school year..

fifteenthgreen

I won't settle for mediocrity like your campaign! Effective is a disgrace for this school district! Period!

fifteenthgreen

.....and a new school won't help increase that disgraceful, pathetic rating. Is it due to STEM, open enrollment, multi-age, teachers? Why have we declined so much?

Vote Informed

This levy is for the day-to-day functioning of Perkins Schools. Despite what rumors may be on this blog, this is not a levy for the new building. (Which won't be built until we are fiscally stable)

underthebridge

What will provide financial stability?

fifteenthgreen

It looks like we haven't been financially stable for many, many years. If so, why was a new school designed at great expense, presented to the community for vote and marketed with huge signage at the new stadium?

Vote Informed

The Board's direct answer at the last school board meeting:

We will wait to see what changes in state funding come in the next biennial budget. We will wait to ensure the district is financially stable and fiscally sound before moving forward with any renovation and/or new construction project.

fifteenthgreen

That doesn't answer my questions regarding the new building. This has been in the works for years. Did they put the cart before the horse? What about the impending doom with the safety/health issues? That was the previous campaign. What is it going to be next?

Vote Informed

Question: Why wait so long?

If you knew teachers were going to lose jobs, why wait so long for the levy?

Answer:

The district spent more money than it took in during fiscal year 2011. We knew at that time a levy would be necessary soon. We also had a significant carry over balance that we had generated through the previous three years. It would be hard to explain to the community why we needed money when we had several million dollar fund balance.

I hope that answers your question with the finances.

fifteenthgreen

No, it doesn't. Yikes!

Vote Informed

If I'm not completely answering your question, ask the BOE at http://perkins.k12.oh.us/Levy.aspx. Otherwise, please don't continue to spread false information.

fifteenthgreen

They won't answer. I've tried.

citizen

I will ask AGAIN, what SPECIFICALLY does financially stable mean?

In the Board's mind, it is as soon as this "operations" levy passes.

Vote Informed

The Board's direct answer at the last school board meeting:

We will wait to see what changes in state funding come in the next biennial budget. We will wait to ensure the district is financially stable and fiscally sound before moving forward with any renovation and/or new construction project.

fifteenthgreen

That doesn't answer my questions regarding the new building. This has been in the works for years. Did they put the cart before the horse? What about the impending doom with the safety/health issues? That was the previous campaign. What is it going to be next?

Strong Schools ...

I know when Dr. Gunner came to our district he knew he could not ignore the facility issues. He has tried to be open and honest with the public at the board meetings but they usually do not have high attendance. The buildings have been pushed to the side for many years and I am glad Dr. Gunner brought it to our attention.

On that note, this levy will not be a building levy. They can't do anything until the district is financially stable. This is a general operating levy for the day-to-day operations of the school district. This money will be used for salaries, benefits, supplies and materials to operate the school daily. The Board previously has set aside the 5.2 mils of “Inside Millage” to be used for facility renovation or construction. The Board intends on using the “Inside Millage” funds to address school facility needs sometime in the future. At this time, any building project has been placed on hold until they can stabilize the day-to-day operations of the district.

You should submit your questions to Perkins Local Schools website. You will be able to get your questions answered and they will be able to be seen by all.

http://www.perkins.k12.oh.us/Lev...

fifteenthgreen

This doesn't answer my questions either, Strong Schools and I've tried submitting questions. They won't answer them. Thank you, though.

Q: It looks like we haven't been financially stable for many, many years. If so, why was a new school designed at great expense, presented to the community for vote and marketed with huge signage at the new stadium?

RMyer

See my reply above.

eriemom

I guess you need to consider the source, as my mother used to tell me. Consider how your child did or does in school. Will they, or have they, been prepared to learn as an adult in their chosen vocation/career?

underthebridge

I'm not sure to what we can attribute the mediocre rating. I've got some concerns that the current Curriculum Director does not have formal training in education. He was previously a BOE member and a Sales Manager. I think his intentions are sincere, but I wonder if this has some impact. At least in the middle school, STEM has been okay. We were pleased with multi-age and it was a good fit for our kids. I do know that Gunner has said that the addition of OE students does not impact the ODE report card of the district.

Strong Schools ...

Thanks for your input.

Strong Schools ...

fifteenthgreen,

I don't want you to think I am ignoring your question. I am searching for the exact indicators. I believe there were only a couple areas we did not meet on the state report card and I am looking that up now.

Strong Schools ...

An effective rating is not disgraceful or pathetic. According to the State Department of Education that is a "B" rating. Meeting 22 out of 26 is 85%, which is a solid "B" on most every grading scale. Would the district like to be higher? Yes. Are they working hard to align the curriculum with the new state standards and the common CORE? Yes. Schools around the state are noticing a trend with the standardized tests and state standards. The state recently adopted the common core curriculum. Administrators have noticed the questions on the test are not aligned with the standards that are required to be taught. The state takes a look at several subcategories and they are all listed on the ODE website.

The New World Czar

Common Core is nothing more than the U.S. Department of Education setting policies for states and local school systems on how to run their school systems...seriously, this is what is best for our district???

eriemom

Do we have any choice? Read through some of these posts. Some folks think that the standardized tests are everything.

Strong Schools ...

The test seems to be all people look at! We have to look at all of the great opportunities our students receive daily. Perkins has great programs to help our students excel in the future. We can't base our decisions based on one test given one time. Look at all of the other things our students have completed successfully through academics, arts, and athletics. Vote YES!

MrGadfly

Here's a middle ground that takes away many questions and opinions.

The school board promises not to proceed with any building or negotiate a new contract with the superintendent until after the November vote on school board members.

This would eliminate the idea this levy is tied into a building.
This would allow both sides the opportunity to elect officials that agree with or not with the millage switch.
It takes away the trust issue on the board and superintendent with no voters.

If this levy is only about operating costs than this promise should not be a problem with the school board and superintendent.

citizen

Can any Gunner supporter define "financially stable" specifically?

You all keep using this argument, yet are unable to define what it means.

Please refrain from repeatedly stating this, as noone knows what it means.

Well, actually, we do. It's as soon as this building levy passes.

Edwin Ison

Strong Schools, Bherrle or Vote Yes,

Define "financially stable" as it pertains to the new campus construction.

If you cannot define "financially stable" simply, all your other talking points will fall on deaf ears.

"Financially stable" defined will allow voters to decide if this new levy request is an operations levy, or a new building levy disuised as an operations levy.

Again, without talking points or any gunner fluff, define what "financial stability" is and how "financial stability" will be reached.

Please only answer the question asked, keep it simple as I'm just a garbage man.

Strong Schools ...

Did you attend the last Board of Education Meeting? A lot of programs are being cut to save money. The athletic and arts programs will take a huge financial hit as well. I want my children and other people's children to get an amazing education. I feel our children are worth every penny it takes. I will not take my frustration with the board out on the students. They do not make the choices for the district.

Edwin Ison

Define "financially stable"!

If you cannot answer such a direct and simple question, I question your mission!

Vote Informed

Please submit your question to the BOE at http://perkins.k12.oh.us/Levy.aspx. They will answer your question completely and then post it to the public so others who have your same question can view it.

Resident51

Various posters have said they've submitted questions with no reply. Stop giving this option.

Vote Informed

Please have patience for the BOE. Otherwise, please ask your questions at http://perkins.k12.oh.us/Levy.aspx.

citizen

Gunner and Board have stopped answering questions.

Further, PLEASE define SPECIFICALLY what financially stable means. Gunner's supporters keep using this term as it relates to when the new buildings will be built to try to convince voters this is not a building levy... but noone is able to explain what this means, specifcally.

I will give you a clue. It means as soon as this "operations" levy is passed, they will start construction on the new facilities.

fifteenthgreen

Thank you for your answer, Strong Schools, but how long is it going to take them to "align the curriculum" with the new state standards and the common CORE? I know it continuously changes but nine years plus? Also, how can adjacent school districts figure it out and we can't? Are the tests different for Huron, Oak Harbor and Edison?

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

fifteenthgreen

Also, why are we rated "Below" on the Value scale and all other schools have "Met" this criteria?

RMyer

If you would like to meet with me and go through the nuts and bolts of the reports, I think I can help explain what is going on with value added and other data. I'll even buy your coffee.

Edwin Ison

Define "financial stability".

Strong Schools ...

The district is currently working on fixing the problem. No one wants our children to fail.We have had multi-age since 2000, we have had STEM since 2009 and Open Enrollment since 2009. W have been Excellent, Effective and Continuous Improvement in some of those years. The test questions are different every year,the standards change periodically and the state raises the bar at different testing intervals? I encourage you to take one of the practice tests provided by the ODE website? It

Nemesis

Student success or failure is determined at home, often before they set foot in kindergarten.

fifteenthgreen

"Continuous Improvement" is worse than Effective!

eriemom

Your right. Let's hire some more coaches. Let's get rid of everyone who has ideas that might be worth pursuing--that's not the way that we do things around here. The way that we do things is effective, but not excellent.

Strong Schools ...

Yes it is, and our district has improved since that rating.

donutshopguy

"The school board promises not to proceed with any building or negotiate a new contract with the superintendent until after the November vote on school board members."

Simple solution to this complicated problem.

Resident51

You know that is not going to happen.

Gunner meets with the architects daily....saw them together yesterday. It is full speed ahead people.

Vote Informed

Incorrect. It is not "full speed ahead" This levy is for school funds due to the lack of state funding, and the fact that the last time we passed a levy was in 2000. It isn't because of the stadium and it isn't because of the new building plans. Like I said yesterday, your post may or may not be true, and just because the building plans are on hold doesn't mean we can't plan ahead.

citizen

Your post is a lie.

This is a building levy.

Gunner removed millions of dollars from operations funds, essentially bankrupting his own district.

Vote Informed

False. The shortage of money came from lack of state funding and the fact that in the past 18 years, we've past only 1 levy.

Bherrle

Citizen,

Supt. Gunner did no such thing. The BOE voted to move the inside millage. After three public meetings were held on the issue, which, the board was under no obligation to hold by law. But they held them anyway. Did you attend any of them? It is completely within the BOE's authority to do so, it was the right move for the district long term, and the public is not allowed to vote it. One has to be on the board to vote on it.

We all understand you don't like the fact that the board can do this, but state law grants them the authority. They did nothing secretive, unethical, immorral, or illegal.

eriemom

Has anybody done a public records check for the super's evaluations? We don't want to be the next Huron Fiasco.

donutshopguy

I will change my "no" vote to a 'yes" vote if the school board adopts mrgadfly's proposal.

Now, is this about the kids or is it something else?

Strong Schools ...

Your family should change your vote! Supporty our family, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc. Stay focused on the students and vote yes!

PyrkinsPyrate

One of the mouthpieces with the authority to speak for Gunnar needs to explain how the current Board of Education defines "Financial Stability". I will bet money that the levy getting passed would count as "Financial Stability" and the building continues. The "yes vote" people know this and are liars if they deny it. They are intentionally being vague as if that makes them any less dishonest. Has anyone noticed that no one denies that the supersuper has been meeting with the planners and has borrowed 3 million dollars to design the school? Why is this not being denied? This whole fiasco is contempt of democracy. Let's just have a few of you stand up and claim that the building has been put on hold.

Vote Informed

I claim that the building has been put on hold. The money that is being generated by the levy is going towards saving the 14 teaching positions and for the Pay to Play fees to be brought back down. Like I've said before, if you would ask the board at http://perkins.k12.oh.us/Levy.aspx, they can define financial stability for you. Please have patience while waiting for their answer. We YES voters are not being vague and dishonest, we're stating the facts. Consider it what you want, but that's what we're doing. You can call us names all you want but we're fighting for our students and teachers. I'm voting yes because I support our students and teachers. Please put aside the hatred of the school board and think of the students when voting this August, and please stop spreading false information.

(BOE Q&A)

Question: Levy Money Use

If the levy passes in August, will any of that money be used for new facilities or building renovations?

Answer:

No. This is a general operating levy for the day-to-day operations of the school district. This money will be used for salaries, benefits, supplies and materials to operate the school daily. The Board previously has set aside the 5.2 mils of “Inside Millage” to be used for facility renovation or construction. The Board intends on using the “Inside Millage” funds to address school facility needs sometime in the future. At this time, any building project has been placed on hold until we can stabilize the day-to-day operations of the district.

fifteenthgreen

Anyone can make up a BOE Q&A and post it on here. Here's my imaginary Q&A:

(BOE Q&A)

Question: If the levy passes in August, will the money be used to build a new Perkins Academy?

Answer: Absolutely. What have those silly Yes voters been telling you? That's been our intention all along. Sorry if they keep bothering you.

Vote Informed

I encourage you to stop spreading the false information. The funds from this levy will be used for day-to-day functioning of our school system. Your "imaginary" post is obviously not legitimate. Go to http://perkins.k12.oh.us/Levy.aspx and see that mine is obviously real. I'm voting yes for the teachers and students. Voting no only punishes our children.

citizen

You are the one spreading lies and false information.

You keep using a "financial stability" argument yet have no idea what that means. Who makes an argument but doesn't know what they are arguing? I guess supporters of Gunner.

The funds from this levy will replace operating funds that were moved by Gunner's choice to building and permanent improvement funds. Placing new, grand facilities over the education of the district's students.

Vote Informed

The funds will go to maintaining the day-to-day functions of our school district. If you want Dr. Gunner's exact words of what financially stable, is then ask him at http://perkins.k12.oh.us/Levy.aspx, and patiently wait for an answer. We are spreading the truth! VOTE YES!

Strong Schools ...

We can only tell you what has been reported to us at the board meetings. The board and Gunner have said this is not a building levy but a levy to help the district operate day-to-day. I am totally willing to pay whatever I need to to make sure my children are receiving a quality education.

PyrkinsPyrate

Ok "Vote Informed", do you honestly believe that while claiming that this August Levy pays salaries, benefits and supplies, will that allow the inside millage that it replaced to remain in a separate fund for the new school. To you, "Vote Informed" is it dishonest to claim that the new levy money goes for operations while a very similar amount of money has been moved into permanent improvement in the same year? Would you be comfortable if the levy passes and the Board immediately begins to construct the school that the voters clearly refuted twice? Are you good with that? Would Jesus or George Washington be able to say that this levy is not going to permit the building of a new school?

Vote Informed

Like I've said previously, the shortage of money came from lack of state funding and the fact that we haven't passed a levy since 2000. Moving the inside milage means there will still be additional cuts of approximately 1.5 million. Soon we will be forced into being a state minimum school district. Call us liars, but we're stating the facts. The board will not commence building the new facilities until we are fiscally stable. The money that taxpayers will pay when this levy passes will be used for salaries, benefits, and supplies. Don't punish the students because you hate the board and have no trust in them. Take that anger out on the November ballot when you're choosing new officials to be on the board. VOTE YES for the students!

fifteenthgreen

Ok, one more time. I'll try and write it in crayon for you:

Your employer and thousands of family members tell you they are going to be reducing your pay. They have been telling you for years, but you being you, weren't paying attention or just didn't care. The signs were there with the looming budget cuts, critical economic conditions, etc...

Anyway, you take your paycheck like always, deposit it in your general account to pay your bills and out of nowhere, you decide to put it into a savings account instead of leaving it in your general account. Why? Because you think you might be able to get a better interest rate on any future purchases down the road with that money in your savings account.

Now, since you've deposited all of your check into your savings account, you have no money left to pay your bills.

But that's OK. You'll just call on a few thousand family members or so to help you out. Problem is, they tell you NO. Twice.

So what do you do? You go out and make large purchases like stadiums, laptops, etc... In addition, you take out a very large loan for just a design on a home that your significant other said that you cannot afford. You do it anyway. All while your general account is empty.

So now what do you do? You change your story and call all of your thousands of relatives and ask them for even more money than the first time.

But since you're so stubborn, have a huge ego and really want that big, nice house that you can't afford, you're still willing to risk it all and that of your thousands of family members to get what you want. Why? Because you feel entitled.

Oh, I know. You say it is in the best interest of your family, their health, etc., but most people use that excuse when they get into financial trouble. And like most black sheep in the family, you will continue to call until you get what you want and if you nag just enough, your hope is that they may finally just cave in just to shut you up.

All while you still have your original paycheck in your savings account waiting to buy that big house that you can't afford.

Vote Informed

What a great story! Just a reminder... The big house is on hold until we're financially stable and this levy is for school funds.

fifteenthgreen

That's what all the fiscally irresponsible say.

Strong Schools ...

Well you are right on one thing. The school district has not passed a levy for new money in 18 years and they need new money to help operate our schools. What they did with the inside millage was not illegal. They announced and voted on the inside millage at public board meeting. Why didn't you speak up then? Did you go to the meetings? Some school boards can up the millage without a vote and the public has to deal with their choices (Florida and other states use this method). Our board was trying to be responsible and provide a safe and healthy learning environment. It is embarrassing to know that our high school structure is one of the worst in the entire state. We need to keep our pride and vote for the students!

fifteenthgreen

School structure is worse than whos? Margaretta, Sandusky, PC, Huron, St. Marys, Edison, Vermilion, Danbury, PNB, Oak Harbor, Clyde..............

NewToPerkins

15th - I have been in all those schools in the last two years, accept PNB and Vermilion, and YES - are schools are horrible! They need to be updated! However, this levy isn't about Perkin's buildings. This levy is an operating levy...I think it's funny how you guys can't understand that after it has been explained so many times. Do what I did, research all these facts for yourself. Learn the real issues. Don't believe all the media, because they can't seem to get this right, and certainly don't listen to general people out there who just don't want "new taxes." Obviously, no one wants new taxes...but this is about keeping a school district stable and preparing it for the future. A future that will one day not have a Gunner or these board members running it. Perhaps it may be you or me on the board running it! Either way, don't you want to see it remain a great school district? I do! And honestly, I know you do too! Vote yes, get the levy through. Then lets rally and get new leadership in there for our school board!

fifteenthgreen

That would be "our" issues, not "are" issues.

PyrkinsPyrate

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights) and Personal information.

PyrkinsPyrate

Just Imagine. If Gunnar and the Board can pull off this bait and switch and outright fraud can you imagine what else they might try to pull if we do not stop them. Defend Democracy and Voters dignity, Vote No!!!!

Vote Informed

Vote YES for the students! Take out the hatred of the board and vote them out in November, but don't punish the students! VOTE YES!

Edwin Ison

Strong Schools, Vote informed, Bherrle or Vote Yes,

Define "financially stable" as it pertains to the new campus construction.

If you cannot define "financially stable" simply, all your other talking points will fall on deaf ears.

"Financially stable" defined will allow voters to decide if this new levy request is an operations levy, or a new building levy disuised as an operations levy.

Again, without talking points or any gunner fluff, define what "financial stability" is and how "financial stability" will be reached.

Please only answer the question asked, keep it simple as I'm just a garbage man.

citizen

I need a few questions answer by Gunner's supporters.

1. Perkins Schools is projecting an increase of $1-1.4 million in revenues in FY 13. How is it that Gunner and Board are alleging Perkins Schools are on the brink of financial disaster, have to "dismantle themselves" adn "no longer have a district" if this levy fails. Revenue is projected to increase $1-1.4 million without a tax increase?

The only logical solution is because they have no money to operate the schools because Gunner and Board moved millions of dollars from operating to new facilities!

2. Define specifically what financial stability is. Gunner supporters keep trying to use this argument by stating the board has said they will not proceed with construction until the district is "financially stable." Again, define specifically what that means.

The only logical choice is as soon as this tax increase passes. Therefore, this is a building levy. Replacing operating funds moved against multiple taxpayer vote to building funds.

Again, Gunner supporters- 2 very straight-forward, simple questions that get to the heart of Gunner and Board's lies and deception.

Bherrle

Have you asked these questions of the board directly, on the website, or of Supt. Gunner directly?

citizen

I have. No reply.

Strong Schools ...

I have submitted your questions on the website and I will also check for your responses. Please stay focused on the students and vote yes!

The state average contribution is approximately 43% of total revenue received by a local school district. Perkins receives less than 33% of its revenue to operate our school district from the state. School districts in the state are receiving less funding from the state, forcing schools to seek money locally to make up for the decreasing percentage form the state.

True Blue

GET RID OF KASICK IN 2014!! He's part of the problem with state funding. Maybe you can ask Kasick to pay for your kids sports! Vote no!!

Edwin Ison

Question: Define "financial stability".

Answer: Sounds of crickets chirping.

44870 South

Ok..so, considering this is an "emergency operating levy", and it can only be used for operations, not new construction, if the levy passes and they were to break ground anywhere in the near future to build a brand new school, can we the taxpayers then bring a class-action law suit against the Perkins Board of Education and Superintendent for misuse of funds??? I'm just wondering.

Bherrle

I'd suggest you consult an attorney on that. My opinion is no, but I'm not a lawyer.

citizen

1. Define "financial stability"

2. How is Perkins projecting a $1 million+ INCREASE in revenue for this fiscal year, yet Gunner is stating multiple times he will have to "dismantle the district" and that the Perkins community "will no longer have a school district" if this levy does not pass?

3. Why did Gunner take out a $3,000,000 loan to design and plan new facilities if taxpayers voted it down multiple times overwhelmingly, Perkins is on the brink of financial ruin and the buildings are "on hold"?

......

We are waiting....

44870 South

I am still waiting for an answer to my own question...once again...if the board uses any of the day to day operating funds for which they are pleading for, then nothing NEW should be built, correct?? I can see doing a little renovating inside the schools to add more classrooms, etc. But absolutely no NEW SCHOOLS! Which is ashame, considering how they deliberately angled the stadium archways to be a perfect "future" aesthetically pleasing backdrop to the new taj mahal they are planning for in the near future. But, back to my question...if ground were to be broken...can we sue???

Bherrle

I'm not an attorney, so I'd suggest consulting with one. In my opinion, no, you could not sue.

44870 South

I just want to make sure my YES vote (If that's what it is),is going for exactly what they say it is being used...for operations, not new buildings, that we don't need nor can afford right now. I am all about maintaining the teachers' jobs, allowing kids to be able to take part in clubs and sport for free (OH wait...that's the district across the street), well at least for cheaper, and get a good education (OH wait, you can get that across the street too, and free sports?? hmmmm.) Well back to my point - That's it. I want to know for sure that no new campus is gonna be built that I"m gonna have to foot the bill for over the next 10 years....can we have Gunner like take an oath on the 50 yard line of FRMC Field under the warm red glow of the neon Kasper Pressbox sign, put his hand on his heart and recite these words: "Dearest Taxpayers, I am sorry that I mislead you and then told you that you were all a bunch of misguided morons that can't add. I promise to use the extra $50 per month (on average) dollars that we are going to take from you and spend it on only what we NEED, NO NEW SCHOOL in an effort to pad my resume. I also promise, that I will move here by the time school starts in August, and also start contributing to the tax base in Perkins Township".

Is this plausible???

44870 South

I know I am being sarcastic there at the end...But my intention is a sincere one...what happens if the money is not used for what it was promised to be used for...or things get "moved" again down the road, and either people have forgotten and lost interest, become complacent, or simply don't want to expend the energy to try to read through all the rhetoric. My question is a sincere one...I just don't trust them.

Strong Schools ...

I can understand you frustration but please don't punish our children for other people's decisions.

Bherrle

The money generated by this levy will be used to restore most, if not all, of the staff cuts made at the June 12th board meeting. I say most if not all because it is possible the state will cut funding by more than it projects, and the district will not know this until July 1st or after. It will also reverse the "pay to play" fee structure. Beyond those two things, there will be no money left from the proposed levy to spend on anything else.

Permanent improvement funds (be they for renovations or new buildings) have been taken care of by the movement of millage (5.2 mills from outside to inside). There is no guareentee that the board won't do this again in the future, it is completely within their right to do so. However, they didn't do it secretly or unethically, there were three public meetings held on the issue, plenty of opportunity for disent to be voiced, and better ideas to be voiced, before the board voted on it. They made the move to ensure that there was PI money set aside, which is their responsibility. I imagine a lot of us would be upset at them if they knew renovations, repairs, or new buildings were needed (which one or more of these three are absolutley needed), and they didn't set aside any money to pay for it.

I do trust the board, I have to ask why you do not? I don't mean that sarcastically, I would really like to know? They are standing behind the direction that two 25 person community represented committees have recommended, and three independent inspections and results have recommended in the past 4-5 years. All of which have been made public numerous times. Some are saying it is being used as a scare tactic. I disagree. They are presenting the facts. Our buildings need to be replaced. Three independent inspections have deemed so. Some will say that the County Health Inspector & Fire Marshall said the buildings are fine. Those inpsections were for immediate health & safety threats. Not long term. They were not "structural inspections" by any means. The more time that passes, the greater risk of exposure to toxic elements (such as asbestos) becomes, the security issues don't go away, and the overall classroom environment doesn't get any better, among other things. If anyone disagrees with that, that's fine, that's your opinion. It's the boards responsibility to make that decision. We elect them to take on that responsibility. They don't take that responsibility lightly. They don't ask for more tax money from the public without understanding or feeling the impact (they are all taxpayers in this community.)

If anyone feels strongly that new buidlings are not needed, I urge you to take a tour of the existing buidlings yourself (which I am doing today at 10 AM), and review all of the inspection findings that have been made public. If you still feel that new buildings are not needed, that's fine, that's your opinion, but understand that you are disagreeing with experts (not one but several) on the matter.

In my opinion, it's not a question of "can we afford this?" We can't afford not to do it.

believeit

There are obviously different viewpoints about what this levy is about. Yes voters state that it is for operating expenses only and not a new facilities. Others state that it will eventually lead to a new school no matter what. Probably both are right based on interpretation. My question is, that if one levy (still keeping the district the lowest millage in the county) can take care of both problems, how is this a bad thing? Why do people who claim to to Perkins Proud want to be happy about having inferior facilities/programs? Do you brag to your friends, "Sure I live in Perkins, but I'm really excited about how I want it to fail".

fifteenthgreen

Inferior facilities to who?

44870 South

Inferior facilities???? Yes, agree compared to who? I've been in other schools, and Perkins is not bad at all. My God, there's buildings a century older in Sandusky that are still functioning! Why can't they simply slowly renovate what they have??? I think a lot of schools in the area would like to brand new facilities. I'd like a brand new car. I'd like to build a brand new house. New technology is the driving force behind 21st Century Academics, not new bricks.

citizen

Alissa and Matt-

Above are some great questions to do some investigating. It appears none of Gunner's supporters here can answer and Gunner and Board will not answer our questions on their website.

Matt, if you did half the hard-hitting journalism and reporting of Perkins Schools that you do of the city of Sandusky, we'd all have a lot more information.

Vote Informed

We can answer these questions, but Dr. Gunner himself would do a much better job. Please ask him at http://perkins.k12.oh.us/Levy.aspx and please be patient with his answer. Even better, attend the next board meeting.

fifteenthgreen

Please be patient. We'll eventually fix that "B Rating" and "Below" value added. Only been eight out of the last nine years in the toilet.

citizen

1. Define "financial stability"

2. How is Perkins projecting a $1 million+ INCREASE in revenue for this fiscal year, yet Gunner is stating multiple times he will have to "dismantle the district" and that the Perkins community "will no longer have a school district" if this levy does not pass?

3. Why did Gunner take out a $3,000,000 loan to design and plan new facilities if taxpayers voted it down multiple times overwhelmingly, Perkins is on the brink of financial ruin and the buildings are "on hold"?

......

We are waiting....

Vote Informed

1. Ask the board at http://perkins.k12.oh.us/Levy.aspx and be patient with their answer.

2. Incorrect. And if this levy fails and the next levy fails, it is predicted that the state will have to take over our school until we eventually pass a levy.

3. Dr. Gunner realized the current state of the buildings and decided they needed to be renovated/rebuilt. This lack of money came from cuts in state funding and the fact that we haven't passed an "additional funds" levy since 2000. The buildings are on hold.

citizen

1. I did. No reply. Why do you keep using this as an argument if you do not understand what it means?

2. Perkins Schools is projecting revenue of $22.9M for FY13. Actual FY12 revenues were $21.4M. That is an increase of appx $1.5M. Yet Perkins schools are on the verge of financial disaster.

3. If the buildings are on hold, why did he take out a $3,000,000 loan to design and plan them. That doesn't sound like "on hold" to me, does it to you? Rather it sounds like designing and planning them.

citizen

I will ask again, as Vote Informed clearly did not answer my questions.

1. Define "financial stability"

2. How is Perkins projecting a $1 million+ INCREASE in revenue for this fiscal year, yet Gunner is stating multiple times he will have to "dismantle the district" and that the Perkins community "will no longer have a school district" if this levy does not pass?

3. Why did Gunner take out a $3,000,000 loan to design and plan new facilities if taxpayers voted it down multiple times overwhelmingly, Perkins is on the brink of financial ruin and the buildings are "on hold"?

Vote Informed

1. Patiently wait for your response, as the BOE is obviously very busy.

2. There will be no "INCREASE," because if this levy fails, we will still be in debt and Dr. Gunner will furthermore have to dismantle the district unti we are taken over by the state.

3. Dr. Gunner took out this loan before we were put into this situation. The new buildings will eventually have to be built due to their condition. And yes, these plans are on hold.

Any further questions, I urge you to patiently wait for your response or call the BOE office. I hope this helps.

fifteenthgreen

Now they're too busy to answer questions. Hold please.................

Centauri

Will somebody please define "financial stability" as it applies to the Perkins School District in Ohio. Anybody?

How about if the Perkins School Board puts the answer on the Perkins School District's online site for all to see.

http://www.perkins.k12.oh.us/

Centauri

How about some input from former members of the school board?

fifteenthgreen

Psh!

44870 South

"The buildings are on hold"....so that means they are coming back in a few short years to ask for more money??? I went to the board meeting, but all I keep hearing is sound bites...Is the district planning on building a new campus....yes or no???

Vote Informed

I've also been to the board meetings. These building plans have been put on hold and the board doesn't know when building will commence as of yet.

believeit

There are obviously different viewpoints about what this levy is about. Yes voters state that it is for operating expenses only and not new facilities. Others state that it will eventually lead to a new school no matter what. Probably both are right based on interpretation. My question is, that if one levy (still keeping the district the lowest millage in the county) can take care of both problems, how is this a bad thing? Why do people who claim to to Perkins Proud want to be happy about having inferior facilities/programs? Do you brag to your friends, "Sure I live in Perkins, but I'm really excited about how I want it to fail".

44870 South

OHHH!! Yes! You figured it out...I'm so PROUD! I brag to all my out of town friends what a cluster**** this district is in. And I am sooooo excited for it to fail. Yeah...you pinned it. GO AWAY!!!

Strong Schools ...

We need to step up as a community and support our students in August. We want a "Cadillac" education but don't want to pay for it. We have only passed one levy for new money on 18 years. They levy was passed in 2000. It is time to step up and vote yes!

Centauri

"We want a "Cadillac" education but don't want to pay for it."

Why not a Chevy or Ford education?

The internet provides a wealth of information and education for those who want it.

Why not have online internet classes? No yellow note pads and no chalk boards. Why have brick and mortar buildings?

Vote Informed

At PHS, they offer online or mixed learning classes (half online half classroom) & at least my children have always complained about online classes and how they prefer traditional classroom teaching. Who would want a "Ford or Chevy" learning experience when we can give our children the "Cadillac or Audi" learning experience. I know I want the best education possible for my children, so I will be voting YES on the August levy.

citizen

One only purchases an Audi or Cadillac if they can afford it. Perkins clearly cannot afford an Audi or Cadillac.

By the way, Audi and Cadillac's serve the same purpose as Ford and Chevy's.

Strong Schools ...

Oh my...way to solve the problem. Vote Yes in August and keep our students in school!

fifteenthgreen

I wouldn't reward anyone in that district when it comes to education. Cadillac educations in a B Rated school, ranked 391st in the state. Joke!

believeit

Beyond the ratings numbers, which can be confusing at best, the fact is that every district in the area has open enrollment, yet Perkins is the only one with a waiting list.

fifteenthgreen

.....and with a "Below" value-added to go with their waiting list.

believeit

That's a pretty intense response. Sore spot?

believeit

All I was saying is that if a relatively inexpensive fix (it is NOT going to get cheaper over time), what's the problem? Personally, I would rather brag about how awesome my district's school is rather than how it's getting worse and being excited (or at least satisfied) about sending my kids elsewhere (something I'm sure they would be excited about as well).

fifteenthgreen

Getting worse compared to who? Edison, Huron, St.Marys, Margaretta, Sandusky, Port Clinton.....................

Centauri

What really goes on during the Perkins School District's public meetings? Any videos?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s...

Sometimes a little humor helps.

44870 South

Hahaha! At this late hour not being able to sleep, I needed that laugh!

44870 South

"The board does not know..." Well, isn't that convenient. They seemed to know when they took out the hefty loan for blue prints!

None of this makes any sense. I don't know what to think anymore...

Vote Informed

The board doesn't know when we will be stable enough to build the new facilites, correct. It's not convenient, its what it is. They took out the "hefty loan" for the blue prints and planned on building the new school (to the best of my knowledge) until we were put into the situation of lack of state funding. I know some of it doesn't make sense right now, but I urge you to attend the next BOE meeting and maybe it will make a little more sense.

Centauri

"They took out the "hefty loan" for the blue prints and planned on building the new school until we were put into the situation of lack of state funding."

Very interesting comment.

citizen

When EXACTLY was Perkins "put into the situation of lack of state funding?"

Gunner took out the $3,000,000 loan in April, I believe. There was that big of a drastic change in 2 months that was not expected?

Come on, use some common sense.

I've already done the math. It's an 8% decrease in revenue. (Although Perkins audited financial statement are projecting an increase in revenue for this fiscal year. I don't what to believe.... although I do know either what, it makes Gunner look like the deceitful "leader" he is).

Strong Schools ...

Open Enrollment, grants, and partnerships have helped keep us off the ballot for the past five years. The state has made major financial cuts to our school district and this causes the communities to step in and pay for what we have. Please support the students!

fifteenthgreen

So what you're saying is that if they pass this thing, they have no idea when they'll be stable enough. So one day we'll just magically become stable. BS

Vote Informed

This is a school operations levy, not a building levy. Think of the students and the 14 teachers that could lose their jobs if this levy fails. Put aside your hatred for Dr. Gunner and put the more important thing ahead of it. Our children's education.

fifteenthgreen

Now it's about the fourteen teachers, again. I thought it was about the health and safety of the kids. That was March. Sorry. Oh, I know. Be patient. They'll figure it out eventually. Anyone ever think that these people just aren't capable to handle this mess.

Vote Informed

It's always been about the students AND teachers. Voting no will only punish them. Vote yes or no, Dr. Gunner still has a job. If you're dissatisfied with him, vote the BOE out on the November ballot. Otherwise, you're just hurting the students and teachers.

Edwin Ison

So this levy is for operations..... then its passage will not permit a new building, right.

Does that mean an additional levy or levy's will be needed to reach the mythical "financial stability"?

Strong Schools ...

It is a process and takes time. This levy is to support the operational costs of the district. Our day-to-day costs. Vote Yes!

Edwin Ison

The "situation" came about from moving funds and having the people that pay the bills say enough!

Vote Informed

Again, I ask that you think of the students and teachers when voting this August.

Edwin Ison

Strong Schools, Bherrle or Vote Yes,

Define "financially stable" as it pertains to the new campus construction.

If you cannot define "financially stable" simply, all your other talking points will fall on deaf ears.

"Financially stable" defined will allow voters to decide if this new levy request is an operations levy, or a new building levy disuised as an operations levy.

Again, without talking points or any gunner fluff, define what "financial stability" is and how "financial stability" will be reached.

Please only answer the question asked, keep it simple as I'm just a garbage man.

believeit

It seems apparent that you are from the Edison School District (and a very good district in its own right). Why are you are on this blog other than an attempt to increase your open enrollment?

fifteenthgreen

Rated better than ours. Go Chargers!

believeit

Again, another Perkins resident happy with a troubled system rather than trying to improve the situation. Sad.

fifteenthgreen

Again, another Perkins resident disgusted with a failing district with horrible leadership, B and effective rankings.

believeit

For someone with a username associated with golf, your idea of "sub par" is the joke. Should you read and understand the ratings, you would know that Perkins missed an excellent rating as a district by just a couple of rating points. When broken down, the high school has actually been excellent for as long as the current rating system has been used. The fact is that you are obsessed with a complex and often criticized rating system rather than how people view the district (desire for open enrollment doesn't occur by people reading ratings, but rather word of mouth testimonials). Again, ALL districts in the area have open enrollment, but only Perkins has a 500 student waiting list.

fifteenthgreen

Open enrollment occurs when students get kicked out of better rated and disciplined school districts and they have to settle on Perkins.

Vote Informed

Or they are dissatisfied with their current district and wish to seek a better education at Perkins Local Schools. My children know of many high scoring open enrolled students. Open enrollment isn't a bad thing, no matter how you look at it, and I'm sad to see that you've viewed it in a way that degrades all open enrolled students by saying they've been kicked out of their current school, when the majority hasn't.

believeit

You apparently have no idea of what open enrollment is about. No district is required to accept students from other districts, and discipline problems are certainly a deciding factor for acceptance. Nobody is "settling" on Perkins. I still don't understand why so negative about where you live. Its like a Cleveland native rooting for the Tribe to lose.

fifteenthgreen

ZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz................

Strong Schools ...

Thank you for your comment believeit. I appreciate your thoughts. We will still have to repeat ourselves because some people have a hard time understanding and comprehending this information. Support our Students in August!

Edwin Ison

I own property in Perkins school district and live in Edison school district.

And.... these nefarious actions have a way of reappearing in neighboring districts if successful.

Vote Informed

If you vote no on this levy, then your property in Perkins will lose value.

fifteenthgreen

Oh, the renters! Hey, how come someone at the committee meeting failed to mention the renters and their landlords? Get Gunner on the phone!

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