Open letter to the Perkins Community

Letter from Perkins schools superintendent Jim Gunner.
Register
Oct 25, 2013

Perkins Community:

The Perkins School District levy is critical to providing ongoing quality education to the students of Perkins now and in the future.  This levy addresses both the day-to-day operational costs necessary to run the district as well as a solid plan to renovate and or build new facilities all at a modest cost.  Without the passage of this levy, additional reductions will make it more difficult for our students to have the education they need to be prepared for life in the 21st Century.

The Board and I recognize there is an active "No" voter campaign in the community.  But, what do they offer?  As I have listened to those who oppose the levy, they indicate three actions they would take:

1. Fire me as superintendent

2. Elect two new Board members to promote a change of direction

3. Move the "Inside Millage" back to general operations.

These actions fail to provide a long-term solution to the financial and facility problems the school district faces.  If the "No" voter campaign did their homework, they would discover their plan costs taxpayers significantly more, approximately 11.85 mils compared to the Board’s proposed 6.73 mils. Ask yourself as a taxpayer, do you want to pay almost twice as much to have a direct vote on the building of a new facility? Or do you want to trust Board members you elected who researched all available options over three years, involved four different community committees in the process and have proposed a long-term plan to solve both operations and facilities and keeps your school tax rate the lowest in Erie County?

This is what the “No” voters campaign will really cost you as Perkins taxpayers:

1.53 mils -   (6.73 – 5.2 = 1.53; Difference in Board's request from Inside Millage

1.78 mils  - (1.78 mils required to pay off the loan if “Inside Millage” is moved)

1.34 mils  - (1.34 mils to make up for tax collection starting in 2015 instead of 2014)

7.20 mils - (Bond Levy required to build the same cost building proposed by Board)

11.85 mils - needed to solve fiscal and facility problems as proposed by “No” voters

The "No" voter campaign indicates that we should just move the "Inside millage" back to general operations and then we could maybe pass a small 2 mil levy and everything would be all right.  This simply is untrue.  First, we cannot move the entire 5.2 mils of "Inside Millage" back to operations at the current time, unless we generate additional money to pay off the $3.5 million loan taken out by the Board.  Whether the "No" group agrees or not, the district has a $3.5 million loan that needs to be paid off over the next 4.5 years.  The annual payments of $770,000 are being paid from the "Inside Millage".  At least 1.78 mils of the "inside Millage" must be left in the Permanent Improvement fund for the next 4.5 years to pay off this debt. 

If a new Board of Education decides to move the “Inside Millage” back to the operations budget, this vote would take place no sooner than January 2014. Any “Inside Millage” moved back by this action would take effect with taxes collected in 2015, not 2014. In addition, if the November levy fails, the district would fail to receive an entire year's collection (Taxes collected during 2014) on the 6.73 mil levy, or another $2.9 million.  This $2.9 million dollar loss, by not passing a levy in November needs to be made up with either further reductions, or a larger future levy.  To raise an additional $2.9 million over five years would require an increase of 1.34 mils in any future levy.

But, let's not forget in this scenario, the "No" voters leave absolutely zero money for fixing our facilities. A traditional bond issue would require another vote of the community for at least a 7.2 mil initial bond rate to generate the same revenue the Board is suggesting by using the "inside millage".

So, really the "No" voters are asking the public to pass the equivalent of 11.85 mils to solve the operational and facility problems of the district. Is this the “Change” you want as a community? Is this the long-term planning you want for the district?

Secondly, the “No” voters would like to remove me as superintendent. And why do the “No” voters want to remove me?  Because I don' t live in the district, and a decision that required a vote, a 5-0 vote, by the members of the Board of Education who were elected to represent the voters, to move “Inside Millage” to fix facilities. These five elected members, after over three years of reviewing all fiscal options voted as your representatives to approve the proposed funding alternative of moving "Inside Millage" as a strategic move to fix facilities now and in the future. 

In the past five years, the district has had nine different Board of Education members.  All nine members, elected by the community, well respected diverse business and professional members of the community, have agreed that the current plan before the voters is the best plan to solve both operational and facility needs.  ALL of these Board members agree it is the least costly method for the taxpayers of Perkins.  Four different community committees as far back as Superintendents Buccierri and Rectenwald concluded the district facilities needed to be seriously addressed.  Three different independent construction firms have determined to repair our facilities is more costly than new buildings.  One of these firms ranked our high school as the school in the worst condition and in need of immediate replacement in the State of Ohio at the time.  The "No" voter campaign indicates we should form another community committee to examine the situation again.  After nine board members, eight years, four community committees, and three independent school construction firms have all concluded the same thing, what does another committee give us that we don't already know?

Don't be fooled by the "No" voters.  Consider some of the tactics used by the "No" voters during this campaign.

1. Smear the existing leadership of the district with half-truths, rumors, and innuendoes.

2. Spread half-truths through the "Blogs" where they refuse to identify who they are.

3. Threaten local business owners that display signs supporting the schools levy efforts.

4. Destroying and stealing pro-levy yard signs.

5. No real plan to solve the financial and facility issues facing the school and community.

Ultimately, it is up to the voters of Perkins to decide whom they will believe in this "War of Words".  The superintendent and Board have willing met with any individual or group to explain their position and have not changed their opinion in over three years on what is best for the school district and community.  Can the "No" voters explain how they are going to solve the complex financial problems of the school district?  I hope, as a voter in the Perkins community, you place the value of your children first and recognize that the duly elected Board of Education has done its best to solve very complex financial and facility problems at the best possible cost to you as taxpayers.

I hope you vote to support the Perkins Schools.

Jim Gunner, Superintendent

 

Comments

goodtime1212

How is not passing the levy hurting the students? We have 2 kids n hgh school ( and live in the Township ) they are just fine. If anything we are teaching them that if you don't get your way, stomp your feet hard enough and throw out lies, that sooner or later you will get your way.

Centauri

"Seriously, if you think 140k in legal fees for a 21 million dollar a year business (particularly a school) is excessive, you may need to look a little closer at the inner-workings of multimillion dollar entities."

A business makes money from profits. A school gets money from the tax payers. If a business ran like Perkins Local SD, it would have failed soon after starting.

"We advise private education businesses such as day care centers, preschools, and job-coaching services to consult their attorneys and have them approve every single form, waiver, or release and any subsequent alterations to them."

Did the attorneys go over that pro-levy Perkins Local SD site and that April 2013 PerkinsPirate school report?

Centauri

According to Lucas County (OHIO) public records, Dr. Gunner bought his home in Oregon, Ohio on July 2, 2008.
http://maps.co.lucas.oh.us/areis...

Subtle

Great detective work there Nancy Drew, you proved that Gunner bought his home in Oregon BEFORE being hired in Perkins on August 1st. >.<

fifteenthgreen

Hey, easy on Centauri. Been extremely informative and asks questions for all members of the voting community to consider.

fifteenthgreen
Hawkeye

I want to commend Dr. Gunner for wanting to explain to the Perkins taxpayers what is going on and his plans, but the issue is he is doing it a little late. Why does he want to be forthcoming before we got to this sad state of affairs? Why wasn't the community involved sooner, and all of you yes and no voters why did you not speak up at these board meetings before now? before the community was divided.

fifteenthgreen

Right, Hawkeye but at this latter stage what is it going to take to bring a divided community back together? I've never seen it like this!

Hawkeye

THAT IS A GREAT QUESTION!!! Any ideas?

fifteenthgreen

As with any organization, it usually takes a change at the top. While it won't change the way the schools are funded, it will increase the odds that the voters will support the schools and approve the necessary funding to put us back on track.

Bherrle

1st step, and most important step - The community has to be willing to come back together.

fifteenthgreen

I hope so, Brad!

fifteenthgreen

C.P. via facebook "Anyone against a new school should tour the new school in Clyde. What a great resource for students and teachers. School buildings have come a long long way."

Clyde has industry and manufacturing, i.e. Whirlpool! What does Perkins Township have?

Subtle

There are few who could convince me that the divide in the community is any more than a divide between people with children currently (or in the near future) enrolled in the district and those who don't. To many it wouldn't matter who was in charge or how the money was handled... $26/month is just more than they are willing to spend on the futures of children who are not their own. It really makes me sad :(

fifteenthgreen

No, this makes me sick, Subtle. If you build it, you better have the resources and support to continually operate it.

California district can't afford to use new $105M school

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/n...

Hawkeye

I do have children in these schools and add that 26 dollars to the 998 dollars in tax that we already pay annually (per $100,000 home) that makes it a pretty penny. However, you say the no voters don't listen, it is NOT about the money it is about communication but you would know that if you were listening :)

fifteenthgreen

The sales and Use Tax rate will change from 6.75% to 7.25%, effective October 1, 2013 for Erie County.

Add this to the list with Perkins police, Perkins fire, Ehove, Perkins renewal, Sales tax increase.........

Erie Countian

Just heard on WLEC news this morning that Jim Gunner and Ed Kurt are both on the finalists list for the Findlay superintendent job! I don't know much about Ed Kurt, but I'd be happy to see Gunner gone. Nothing will be accomplished for the better at Perkins until he leaves. His tenure here has obviously been a complete disaster. Now that he sees he won't be able to carry out his grandiose plans here, I guess he's ready to go and divide another community. Buyer beware, Findlay!

fifteenthgreen

Perkins...take me to your leader. Oh, sorry. He's applying for jobs elsewhere. I can't believe the people/teachers that have stood behind this guy. I'm not even going to start. The citizens of this community that have bought into this man's agenda and divided a community make me sick. You're all weak!

Rosa

And, again, how many times do the voters have to say NO?? There definitely should be a limit to how many consecutive times this can be placed on the ballots. That is a waste of money in itself.
As 15th said, we will already have some big increases in taxes. And still the school tax is the biggest.
And if I do want to spend $20/month on Starbucks, a glass of wine, a lottery ticket, GUESS WHAT, it is my money that I have earned to do that.
When will the schools learn??!!

Subtle

Ed and Jim are two of the highest qualified people for that position in the state and as a result, pretty much have their pick of where they go. I would assume they chose Findlay because they see potential there and probably considerably higher salaries.

Let's not forget that the voters squashed the single best financial improvement that could have been implemented in this community. Had the campus been voted in, by the time it was completed, open enrollment would no longer have been necessary, my 90k house would be worth 140k, and people would be offering obscene amounts of money to get current residents to give up their homes so their children could attend Perkins Public Schools.

The Laptop initiative, the STEM program and dual enrollment with Findlay University already make Perkins schools the best opportunity for our youths' futures in the area. I'm sure Findlay is jumping at the bit for the opportunity this community was given but was too short sighted to take.

fifteenthgreen

Oh please. Have you ever been to Findlay? The fact is, this man couldn't get it done so he jumps ship just like Printy. I've got news for you. A 90k house is worth 90k in any town. You build a bright, shiny new school and your house is still worth 90k....maybe. A 50k leap in value due to a new school being built? Come on! Jobs being brought back to this community is the only way your home is going to go up in value. How can you not see this? Jobs bring people. People pay taxes. Employers pay taxes. Are you people that dumb to think a school is our ticket to the promise land. Only in Perkins would one have that mentality. Only in Perkins can you wave to Santa Clause and Jesus every single morning on the corner of Strub and Hayes. Why do you people continue to think this way?

Perkins offers the best opportunities for the youth in our area? What? I graduated from Perkins and I don't recall colleges looking at my HS diploma and with great joy, they automatically started handing me cash and prizes so I would grace them with my presence. Every school in this area provides the same diploma as Perkins. An ODE diploma. Simple. It's a high school diploma not a spot on Forbes top 100. Give me a break.

Why now is Gunner attempting to jump ship? A true leader keeps fighting. Gets his message out there no matter what. Blood, sweat and tears, man! Through thick and thin. Goes down with the ship, if necessary. Not this crybaby. He gets told no a couple times and he bails. If his kool-aid tasted that good to you, maybe Findlay has open enrollment!

Subtle

Please? Did you grow up under power lines? There isn't a house in Perkins that isn't over valued at least 30k just due to the school district currently. Fairview Lanes average home valued at 104k average, actual value roughly 70k each. Michigan Ave 124k average, 80kish actual. Columbus Park 90k / 40k actual. Don't think the Perkins schools isn't the reason for this.

You seriously could pick up and move any house from Fairview lanes down to Jefferson St in Sandusky proper and not be able to sell it for 40k for the house and the property... those houses are like 900-1100 square feet and homes in Sandusky that are 3000 square feet sell for 40k.

People of any kind of financial status simply don't live where they work. Look at my examples from earlier. People in Avon / Avon Lake work in Cleveland, not Avon Lake... You certainly wouldn't find anyone with a decent job and quality education living in Cleveland/Parma/Brooklyn metro area.

Some communities are for working and for people who can't afford to choose where they live. Others, like Perkins are for people who worked hard so their families didn't have to live next to the factories and the economically disadvantaged.

fifteenthgreen

"Live next to the economically disadvantaged"? Who do you think you are? It's people like you that will continue to fail this levy and destroy a once proud community we live in. The folks that live in the very neighborhoods that you speak of are the hard working people struggling to find the extra $26 to fund your dream school. Perkins Schools is the reason for the devaluation of everyone's property? Demented thoughts!

You are wrong in every way when it comes to the suburbs of Cleveland, as well. 150,000 people work in the city of Cleveland. 13,000 actually live there. 600,000 - 700,000 work in every town from Parma to Brooklyn to Richfield to Medina to Avon Lake to North Royalton, etc..............! They live everywhere and they too have their share of struggles with the economy and schools.

If I had to guess, you turn your nose up at the less fortunate, the handicap and at people of color. I feel sorry for you!

underthebridge

Subtle - I appreciate your explanation of the ODE report card previously.

Give me an explanation of how the district faired so poorly on their Science scores given the STEM program?

By the way, I think you're mistaken about the no voters being those who don't have children attending the schools.

Erie Countian

Despite my feelings about Gunner, I HAVE voted yes on every levy to support our children. If I am not mistaken, Gunner left his previous position at Bryan Schools when the people there became unhappy with him, also. Gunner may be "highly qualified" in your opinion, but I feel his lack of honesty and the underhanded tactics used to try and implement his plans at Perkins (whether they were perfectly "legal" or not) created an extreme lack of trust that he will NEVER overcome here, no matter how good some of the programs and initiatives he implemented are. This lack of trustworthiness was evident early on when he applied for the Oregon Schools superintendent position after he had already accepted the job here. I believe he should have been shown the door right then! Then we were told in the district newsletter that he and his family would be moving to Perkins. That never happened, evidently due to some personal issues with illness in his family. But that was NEVER explained in a timely manner, which maybe would have helped people to understand WHY he didn't move here with his family. It would have helped with his public perception and trust issues. I do not claim to understand the technicalities of public school finances, but I do not understand why...if our buildings are in such dire shape... WHY was $1.7 million in taxpayer dollars used to match the privately-raised funds for the new stadium? We could have had a perfectly functional and nice new track, field and stands without using much needed taxpayer dollars to create a rather over-the-top Taj Mahal of a stadium! And why was a $3 million dollar loan taken out (after voters had already turned down new building plans) that has now gotten us into even more of a mess? If those 2 things in particular had not been done, I feel we would not be in the sad and contentious position we are today. It seems the superintendent and school board could have stepped back and gauged the public perception of what they did and said OK, let's slow down and start over. Lets find a better way to do this. I have 2 children who graduated from PHS, and I always support our schools even though I no longer have any children attending there. I do believe we should eventually construct a new high school, as PHS is outdated and outmoded...it was when my kids went there. Putting it off will only cost us more. But I believe that unless Gunner leaves, no positive progress will be made. He started off on the wrong foot and never recovered in the eyes of many in the community.

fifteenthgreen

Erie Countian....I approve your message! Well said!!!!!

Wald

I just printed Subtle's original post to show it to some people I know who don't read the blogs. Hilarious! That's Perkins mentality in a nutshell, right there.

fifteenthgreen

I'm glad someone else sees it, Wald. Look at Subtle's last one. I can't believe this persons mentality and feeling of entitlement. Sickening.

AllTheAnswers

Leaders lead and cowards "dismantle" and continually look for what's next......elsewhere! Unbelievable the BOE bought hook, line, and sinker. Gunner has no affinity to the community, thus BAD decisions given the community circumstances. Bryan Schools were no better while he was in charge and reversed course after he left. Let's hope the same happens at Perkins. Gunner to Findlay, Kurt to Perkins, Fox to Margaretta. Let us move forward.

Hawkeye

Funny, this whole blog was for Gunners letter and not one of you yes voters had mentioned how Gunner has helped the school or what a great person he was, you were so consumed with this levy and that website.

Subtle

@ Erie Countain "And why was a $3 million dollar loan taken out (after voters had already turned down new building plans) "

The 3 million was to look at building new buildings compared to repairing the old ones. It is still cheaper over a 20 year period to build new than it would be to patch up the old.

And the voters turned down a 105 million dollar (of which 50 million was going to be given to us free) campus that would have had all the schools in one location, that would have saved on busing, greatly improved security, created a flexible learning environment, and that could provide a level of community and unity that can't be achieved when schools are split into multiple locations.

That is what voters voted no on. I expect my representatives on the school board to find the best financial option for any given situation, and it would have been irresponsible if they had blindly patched without investigating if it would be cheaper to build new.

Voters weren't asked, and shouldn't have a vote on whether a new building is constructed rather than an old one repaired. It's the expectation of the community that the BOE provide the best course of action. If PHS is going to require 30 million in repairs and upkeep over the next 10 years and it's only going to cost 26 million to erect a brand new building, they damn well better build the new building and save me 4 million in the long run.

underthebridge

But you haven't addressed whether it was a good decision to match-fund a stadium with $1.7 million in taxpayer funds while the learning environment is in such bad shape. These are the kinds of decisions that I have a hard time with. Even though I disagree with the matching proposal to begin with, the original limit that they were going to match was $1 million. The BOE exceeded that amount by $700,000. To me, that was a luxury expense that represents misplaced priorities to athletics at the expense of education.

Wald

Now you're interested in saving money? It would have cost $1.2 million to repair the old stadium and replace the track. The Boosters raised $1.7 million in donations, which was more than enough. Then Gunner and the BOE match that with another $1.7 million. They spent nearly $2 million of taxpayer money on something that was not needed. And yet you're getting all tough about saving money. You're talking out of both sides of your mouth. Let's all pray that FIndlay hires Gunner and gives an early Christmas gift to the residents of Perkins!

fifteenthgreen

How did you plan to OPERATE that 105 million dollar campus, Subtle? From the "economically disadvantaged" citizens that live in the neighborhoods you previously spoke of.

105 million dollar school in California can't afford to open!

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/n...

From Subtle: "Some communities are for working and for people who can't afford to choose where they live. Others, like Perkins are for people who worked hard so their families didn't have to live next to the factories and the economically disadvantaged."

Your a** needs to be run out of town with Gunners. Bherrle, if you know who this fool is, I strongly urge your campaign people to get them to zip it if you want to see any kind of passage in the near future.

Subtle - "I expect my representatives on the school board to find the best financial option?" Last I checked, one of them just jumped ship, as well!

Subtle

First, you are comparing apples to oranges as you no voters like to do. The school in the article was brand new, as in had NO teachers, NO administrators, NO staff. They don't have the budget to hire people to fill those positions. Perkins already has all those positions filled. Perkins would have SAVED considerable money in operating costs over what we spend today.

None of the neighborhoods in Perkins are economically disadvantaged to my knowledge, and it would have cost less to operate the campus than it does to operate the 4 existing buildings. It would have cost less in transportation, less in utilities, and staff could have even been reduced. You don't need 4 separate music teachers when you have a campus with one central music area.

Since you clearly don't understand finances, let me take this a touch further for you. People of wealth in surrounding areas would have moved into Perkins and that undeveloped land you see in the form of farmer's fields, would have been bought up and developed into new homes. Those new homes would have started at no less than $200k and each would be providing more tax revenue back into the district. Those people in turn would be shopping at area businesses and getting service here in Perkins which would increase the overall economy of the community.

So yeah, tell me how a new building that costs 1/3 what the existing buildings do to heat, cool, secure, etc are going to cost us more money in the long run??

fifteenthgreen

Again, why would they come here if the jobs don't exist. If I work in Cleveland, I'm going to send my kids to Bay, Rocky River, Westlake, Avon or Avon Lake. These schools are graded much higher and offer plenty more than the almighty Perkins. Leave the borders of the township and you might see that another world actually exists!

Wouldn't need four music teachrs? Tells me how much you know about classroom size. A total program involving over 400 students couldn't possibly be handled by one director. I'm just talking about Kustec. Not the general music classes offered to the younger grades.

The entire district couldn't possibly be under one roof. Did you see the designs or plan?

It doesn't matter. You no longer have a superintendent and soon we'll be searching for some real leadership even if he doesn't get the job at Findley.

Subtle

Are you being intentionally dense on this? Let me put it this way: Perkins is to Sandusky as Avon Lake is to Cleveland. If you work anywhere in the area, you are probably going to try and live in Perkins because that is where all the stores are, all the restaurants, all the entertainment. It's also where all the crime isn't.

And in the post you were replying to I'm telling you the wealthy families from Huron, Milan, Port Clinton and from all over northern Ohio would have brought property in Perkins to send their children to that campus. A community is only worth as much as the school district it encompasses; that's why a 3000sq foot house in Sandusky is only 40k.

fifteenthgreen

Holy crap you are a peach. What makes you think Perkins is all that? I went there and my kids go there and it is NOT all that. Build a new "campus" and the DOE grades remain the same. Give it up, Subtle. You've already shown your true racial, bigot, self centered personality. The yes campaign deserves people like you.

haha. Many wonderful communities don't even have a school. Do us all a favor and get off of here. Are you the same a** clown that was policing how people talk on here in reference to the internet, social media and the urban way? You are. Go back to taking your selfies and posting them on facebook!

Subtle

I corrected you on calling this comment section a blog because it isn't, other than that I haven't ever policed anything. Point in fact, I've never come down on you for your delusional and typically intentionally misleading statements; because I realize trolls will be trolls and there isn't much I can do to stop you.

If we had built the new campus, it would have been the nicest facilities in the state. When your district has the nicest facilities in the state, intelligent people want to send their children there...yes, they'd have moved into the district from all over, and revitalized this community. That is however, a moot point since the campus didn't pass.

The DOE grades are fine, if you are so simple minded that you like playing into that game. They aren't the measure of success or the aptitude of a district, they are a measure of how well you can coach a small percentage of children who will never have the aptitude for post secondary education...no child left behind and all. The true measure of the district is the 74% of Perkins students who go on to further their education as opposed to the < 74% that actually graduate high school in other districts.

I can't say I have much of an opinion about social media or Facebook other than they can be good marketing tools for some businesses, and I have no idea what the 'urban way' is unless you are referring to the 2009 book Urban's Way by Buddy Martin about Urban Meyer, a coach for the Florida Gators.

I don't believe I have ever heard of a nice community here in Ohio that doesn't have a school, but if you'd like to point one out, I'd very much like to hear about it...sounds fantastic!

I love how you go for personal attacks when you no longer have any arguments you can back up. By the way, if you dislike Perkins so much, maybe you should move... if you can afford a house here, you can afford a very nice one in Sandusky or Norwalk... then again, if you can't afford the minuscule school tax here, you would probably crap your pants seeing what they pay.

fifteenthgreen

You're right. I'll vote yes. Thanks for following me!

Centauri

Since the pro-levy voters refuse to answer my question, I will be posting more information as time permits.

For the benefit of the pro-levy voters, here are some videos posted by the Perkins Local SD.

https://www.youtube.com/user/Per...
The videos themselves would prompt many more questions. I could ask many more questions about the videos but I know that my questions will be ignored.

QUESTION: Why did the school leader allow the building to go without maintenance? Preventive maintenance would have prevented a small problem from becoming larger.

QUESTIONS: Who did the plumbing work on the sewer pipe? What is so hard about replacing cast iron sewer pipe? Cast iron sewer pipes have a lifespan of roughly 50 years or more before the corrode. Why didn't the school leaders replace the rest of the cast iron sewer pipe instead of putting in that PVC sewer pipe band aid?

QUESTION: Do the Perkins School Boosters still sell citrus fruits to raise funds?

Hawkeye

Centauri- Have you heard anything about the $350,000 that the school lent the athletic boosters to cover a portion of their share of the stadium?

Centauri

No, I haven't heard anything about a $350,000 loan to the boosters. Is there a public document that shows this?

My guess is that boosters do not sell citrus fruit anymore.

I see that the Sandusky Register took down this news story and comments from the "Top Comments" section. I wonder why?

Hawkeye

It is public record, contact the treasurers office.

Subtle

@ underthebridge First, I will admit that it could be an over simplification and a generalization to say that ALL the no voters don't have kids in the district. What I should have said was that I know several people (whose children graduated years ago coincidentally) who feel that tiny amount of tax that we currently pay to have one of the very best schools in the area is already too much, even though we basically make the PPS run with NO financial support from the community.

Second, in response to "Give me an explanation of how the district faired so poorly on their Science scores given the STEM program?"

The district's overall score was brought down by a handful of students (17.8%) in some specific risk groups that are counted multiple times for each failure. Currently 5th & 8th grade science are slightly below the 74% required and the only metrics below passing. 10th graders are at 85% in science and 11th graders are at 95.1%

Perkins graduates more students with honors than most schools in the area. Almost 80% of Perkins students take the ACT and their average scores are 22, meaning the the majority of Perkins graduates are well above the national average. Nationwide, 50% of all students taking the ACT score below a 21. None of these things are indicated in those report cards.

"The dominant model of public education is still fundamentally rooted in the industrial revolution that spawned it, when workplaces valued punctuality, regularity, attention, and silence above all else. (In 1899, William T. Harris, the US commissioner of education, celebrated the fact that US schools had developed the “appearance of a machine,” one that teaches the student “to behave in an orderly manner, to stay in his own place, and not get in the way of others.”) We don’t openly profess those values nowadays, but our educational system—which routinely tests kids on their ability to recall information and demonstrate mastery of a narrow set of skills"

"The results speak for themselves: Hundreds of thousands of kids drop out of public high school every year. Of those who do graduate from high school, almost a third are “not prepared academically for first-year college courses,” according to a 2013 report from the testing service ACT. The World Economic Forum ranks the US just 49th out of 148 developed and developing nations in quality of math and science instruction. “The fundamental basis of the system is fatally flawed,” says Linda Darling-Hammond, a professor of education at Stanford and founding director of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future. “In 1970 the top three skills required by the Fortune 500 were the three Rs: reading, writing, and arithmetic. In 1999 the top three skills in demand were teamwork, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills. We need schools that are developing these skills.”

Perkins IS developing those skills. The multiage program, the STEM program, the Laptop program, and the Dual Enrollment with Findlay College allows Perkins to produce some of the finest graduates in the area.

Unfortunately, there is going to be no resurgence of 'comfortable living for blue collar families', the union jobs just aren't there anymore. The bottom line is, unless your child goes to college, they are going to struggle for the rest of their lives. There will be no comfortable working class for our children, and the economic landscape will be much less tolerant of those without degrees than it has been in the past. So believe me when I say, we had better invest wholeheartedly in our schools because they're our children's only chance.

Quotes in this comment excerpted from:

"How a Radical New Teaching Method Could Unleash a Generation of Geniuses"
BY JOSHUA DAVIS 10/15/13
Wired Magazine Online
http://www.wired.com/business/20...

and Wired Print Issue 21.11 'Reform School' November 2013 Article entitled "Free Thinkers" by JOSHUA DAVIS (p.156)

underthebridge

How long has the 17.8% dragged down the scores of the district. I'm honestly asking: Do you think this 17.8% represents the students from other districts that are economically disadvantaged and have enrolled in this district.

I should've clarified my statement too. I think the BOE and Gunner would be surprised that there are many parents of current students who do not support the levy nor the direction of the school system.

I'm impressed with the multi-age program and I'm impressed with the University of Findly dual enrollment program. I am not that impressed with the laptop program or the STEM program. Do students need access to technology? Absolutely. But I question the expenditure of funds of caddilac equipment and the rollover of equipment at least every 3 years. STEM? Meh!

If I were a teacher and as a parent, I'm very frustrated with the misplaced priorities. Stadium first and then classrooms later. As parents and citizens we should have a voice. I was at those meetings about the stadium and the characterization of the wishes of those in attendance was completely misconstrued the very next day. Even alumni football players were telling the BOE to wait.

Hawkeye

Are you talking unions in general including teachers unions or are you just talking about factory worker unions??

fifteenthgreen

She has no idea what she's talking about, Hawkeye. Drunk on the kool-aid and riding the Guuner train....hopefully to Findlay!

Subtle

I was primarily talking about blue collar unions such as manufacturing and construction, particularly where a product is produced; however, I am against any employer keeping substandard, incompetent, or dishonest workers employed, whether they are factory workers, teachers, administrators, or heavy machine operators regardless of union affiliation.

I'm not saying that I don't like unions, or that they didn't serve a purpose especially in the time in our history when they were created to combat subhuman working conditions; however, I would like to see some reform. Great workers should be rewarded and promoted and incompetent workers should be reprimanded and fired regardless of union affiliation.

The bottom line is, those union jobs that used to provide a comfortable living will simply be too scarce for our children to rely upon unless something drastically changes.

If you are betting on your child's future, you better be thinking college, not the auto plant.

Hawkeye

So what you are telling me acquiring a trade is no longer acceptable in our society?

Subtle

I didn't say it was unacceptable to acquire a skilled trade, that is a different story altogether; however, our children who choose that path will need to be the absolute best in their field, and work very hard to make ends meet. It's pretty unlikely that any graduates after 2020 are going to be able to live comfortably without being the very best at what they do whether it's college or skilled trade.

Centauri

QUESTION: Have you heard anything about the $350,000 that the school lent the athletic boosters to cover a portion of their share of the stadium?

Anybody can answer. Please do not evade the question. I view evasiveness as holding back on the truth.

Centauri

http://www.perkinstownship.com/f...
"The total project is $1.7 Million dollars. They plan to raise $750,000; $200,000 has already been saved by the Athletic Boosters; $250,000 of in-kind donations; and borrow $500,000. The Boosters have done this in the past and paid off the loan 2 years early"

Please note: These minutes are not from the Perkins Local SD.

You can check the Perkins Local SD minutes archives here:
http://www.perkins.k12.oh.us/Boa...

Hawkeye

Ms. Crescimano has different figures

underthebridge

That is even worse than I had previously thought. This is why I don't have confidence in them.

Bherrle

15th Green,

In response your post "If the buildings are in that bad of shape and asbestos is rampant, why are we not fixing those problems first. Afterall, it is about the safety of the children, isn't it? What is your message? Asbestos? No Asbestos? We can live with it a while longer? We can fix it now? Build a stadium? Live with Asbestos? Free laptop? Asbestos in the classroom? Not sure what you are trying to tell the voters and taxpayers? The levy site doesn't talk about teaching in asbestos laced classrooms. Why are we not fixing this problem....yesterday!" - and other posts regarding facilities, and how money was spent, in which you seem to be twisting the words of supporters, twisting the issues around each other, embellishing the facts, and even contradicting yourself (as you yourself have stated numerous times that you think our facilities are "fine").

With regards to facilities, I don't believe that I or anyone is saying, or has said, that there is an "immediate" health risk. In fact the health departments inspection, that has been referenced in several comments, indicated there was no "immediate" risk. My two daughters are in the high school, and Meadowlawn, respectively. If I felt there were was an "immediate" risk, my daughters wouldn't be entering those buildings.

With regards to facilities, this is about more than just today however - 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years from now and beyond. Both in terms of facility condition, the issues that need addressed, and what is best financially, long term, in dealing with these issues. Our current facilities will not be free of "immediate" risks forever.

Why did the district make an investment in the stadium first? Because the stadium became the emergency first. After being put off for many years, the track had been closed for two years, the grass field surface itself had deteriorated and needed attention, and the bleachers had become unsafe. To the point that the districts insurance company was no longer willing to provide insurance. So the choice was operate without insurance, close the stadium, or address it. The minimum repairs needed were $1.2M, which did nothing to address the field surface. The Athletic Boosters did an awesome job of securing $1.7M in private donations, which were secured because the district was matching them in a partnership with the community and local business's.

The levy website, www.perkinslevy.org, includes a list of the most significant overall facility issues at the High School. How much longer do we wait? Do we wait for the next "emergency"? Do we wait until something becomes an "immediate" risk? The district is doing the best it can with the funds the provided by a community with a below average tax effort of .88, and a tax effort that is way below Sandusky's 1.8.

The choice is renovate, or build new. 3 independent studies have already shown that renovation is not wise. Costs would approach or exceed 85% of building new. Not to mention, other things could fail, beyond what we already know about, adding to the repair bill. It's the old car argument. Do you continue to sink money into that old car that has numerous other parts that can fail?

Either way, very little can be done without the community stepping up and approving a levy for the first time in 13 years. How much longer we "live with it" is up to the taxpayers. A school district that spends over $700 less per student than the state average is not fiscally irresponsible.

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