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

44870 South

I really can't afford another $50 a month on my house payment each month to subsidize all of this.

Tribester

If having your property taxes increase less than one dollar per day will put more people into foreclosure, those people have more to worry about than this levy! In contrast, how many families will be impacted by potentially thousands of dollars in pay to participate fees, which will likely far exceed the cost of the levy to their household. If you don't have kids in the district, maybe you have grandkids, nieces, nephews, even greatgrandkids in the system. Think of providing them and our community access to a well rounded 21st century education for the price of a cup of coffee a day. Support our Students, Support Perkins Pride, and our community's future. VOTE YES!

Finn Finn

Now you're getting it. People have a he!! of a lot more to worry about than whether or not your kids get to play sports in school. Stop the B.S. about how the only way to achieve a well rounded 21st Century education is to be involved in sports. If you think it's so important, than pay the participation fee yourself, and stop demeaning those who can't afford to pay additional taxes. Lord, you people can't see beyond your own interests and desires.

Nemesis

Yes, stop asking others to subsidize your child's recreation. It's not our job to entertain your kids.

fifteenthgreen

Pride, Tradition, Efficient!

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!

citizen

"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."

Or you could actually donate money yourself if you feel that passionately about Perkins Schools.

"What is dishonest or wrong about returning the favor for those currently going through the system?"

Well, you do not live, work, or pay taxes in Perkins Township.

Strong Schools ...

I agree with Proud Perkins Grad! I know you are CURRENTLY (this bold print is for citizen) in college and can't support financially, but you are being a leader by stepping up and showing support for the students. Keep up the great work and stay positive. I am glad this district produces students like you who want to make a positive influence in the future!

VOTE YES!

fifteenthgreen

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

Ibelieve2

For those asking about the district's ranking, I encourage you to go to www.ohio.gov and search school report cards. If you go to the link "view all local report cards" you will be able to look up report cards for the district as well as the individual buildings from previos years. You will notice the year we scored excellent that we actually met less indicators from when we were ranked effective. There is something called value added that played a part in this. You can read more about value added on the report card. There are many factors that contribute to a district's ranking.

VOTENO

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Strong Schools ...

fifteenthgreen,
Please refer to the Perkins Local Schools website for the information. You can even submit a question and it will get answered. A lot of questions have been answered and you can read the response. I have submitted your question for you so you can get informed quickly.

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

fifteenthgreen

Pride, Tradition, Efficient!

VOTENO

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God Of Thunder

He would renege on that contract, then he wouldn't be able to have a wing in the new 'campus' named after him..

Strong Schools ...

The Board has put plans for any new school construction or renovation on hold until the district is operationally stable financially. 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.

Vote Informed

I thought I'd attach this for anyone who thinks this levy is for a new building. This question was asked directly to the board. This levy is not for a new building. I cannot make this any easier to understand. VOTE YES!

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.

VOTENO

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Strong Schools ...

Where are your facts! We don't need your emotions at this time. We want factual information.

Vote Yes!

Vote4Perkins

I agree Strong Schools!

Vote yes for the students and teachers!

citizen

Haha, Gunner and Board can get away with deception of calling it an operations levy because they already took millions of dollars away from operations to put towards buildings against the will of taxpayers.

They now need money to replace the money they stole from operations.

Of course this is a building levy. They just took out a $3,000,000 loan to design the new school!!!

Strong Schools ...

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.

Truth or Fiction

It is in the best interest of the community, property owners, business owners, and the students for this levy to pass. I congratulate the volunteers. Spread the word - pass the levy!

VOTENO

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Vote Informed

VOTE YES! For the students and teachers!

VOTENO

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Save R Students

VOTE YES for the community!

VOTENO

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Strong Schools ...

Vote Yes for a better future!

Truth or Fiction

@ VoteNo -
Let's take your worse case scenerio. The levy passes. A new school is built. The District becomes the premier district in the county if not the region. Property values increase by 12%. New businesses move into Perkins. Jobs are created. Your property investment provides a solid return.

And VoteNo wants to vote no? I say vote YES and let's make some money!

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