Aug 15, 2013

What's next for Perkins Schools?

After a majority of voters rejected the Perkins Schools levy last week, what will the district do now? Jenna in Perkins Township

For the third time this year, Perkins Schools will try to secure new funding from township taxpayers in November. 

A fall ballot issue directly results from district residents rejecting an issue asking for a larger chunk of property taxes earlier this month. Soon after this, school board members agreed to place a 10-year, 6.73-mill emergency operating levy on the November ballot.

If approved in November, the levy will generate about $2.8 million a year, stabilizing the district's deficit budget and possibly restoring some of $2 million in cuts implemented this summer. 

The owner of a $100,000 home would end up paying an additional $236 a year, or a total annual payment of $1,234, up from the $998 this person currently pays.

The district is poised to spend all of its reserve cash at the end of the upcoming school year, with a deficit of about $2.2 million and a budget of about $23 million going into the following school year.

Among the fallout from the levy's failure: Students must now pay $730 to play one sport.

Read Friday's Mailbag to find out how much Perkins Schools spent on putting an issue on the August ballot.

The Mailbag is a daily feature on SanduskyRegister.com. Every weekday at noon, we will post one question-and-answer from a resident. To ask a question, send a letter to The Mailbag at 314 W. Market St., or e-mail mailbag@sanduskyregister.com. Please include your first name and a location in the e-mail, e.g. “John from Decatur Street."

Comments

whocares

Cole for the school board

ron123rob

The following comments were presented during the public comment portion of the Perkins Board of Education at their Aug. 7th meeting at 7am and was not included in the board report in the Register:
1. Resolve immediately to change the inside millage back to operating millage effective Jan 1, 2014. This would provide approximately $2.2 million in operating funds per year. This inside millage for the Perkins Schools, approximately 5.2 mills, is the foundation of a district’s operating funds, increases with increases in property values, and was fully intended by the state constitution to be used for general operation of the schools and not permanent improvements(new building construction).
2. Resolve immediately to rehire most of the teaching and classified staff recently reduced and to reset the exorbitant activity fees to the 2012-13 levels.
3. Reassess the district’s financial status regarding operating funds with the return of the 5.2 mils of inside operating funds in 2014 and determine what additional operating millage is needed to stabilize the general fund budget. An additional 2 mills or so to be voted upon in May 2014 may be needed. If passed, it would be collected beginning in 2015. This along with the return of the 5.2 mills would approximate the 6.7 mills being requested to stabilize the general fund at the previous two elections.
4. Cancel the November levy. The community has spoken three times.
5. Next spring, look at building needs with a “comprehensive district wide building assessment committee” to come up with a new plan, and go forward from there with a building/facilities update plan.
The board was not receptive to the comments and after dialogue, the board responded that it would still be possible to reverse the inside millage in November if they should so choose. They could cancel the November ballot issue if they wished, but they could not put up a different(smaller) millage in November as no new dollar amount could be certified by the auditor in time. This was in reference to a smaller millage to supplement the 5.2 inside mills should they decide to reverse it back to operating funds.

Common Sense

Thank you for posting facts for all to see. It is appreciated.

citizen

Why did the Register not include this in their minutes?

underthebridge

Because the BOE/Treasurer sumbit the minutes not the Register. The Register reports on what was sumbitted. If the BOE/Treasurer does not include that and no one is present to verify other, it does not get submitted in the BOE generated minutes. The BOE/Treasurer get to control the information that is given to the public.

MrGadfly

Common,

Did a little more research into the conversation I heard. The "special" teachers are music, art and PE.

Those teachers that were let go are being hired back because the school administration did not follow there contractual obligations.

Now my question is, did the powers to be, know they had to hire back these teachers prior to the vote but still used this as a sales tool to pass the levy?

Or, is our school administration that incompetent, not understand the teacher contract, and present a lie to the taxpaying public?

Either way, how can you trust these people with giving them more money or moving funds to the benefit of our community ?

fifteenthgreen

I told everyone they would not get rid of the music director. Using that position as a pawn to get votes is getting old. Find a new one.

oldpirate

Staff being brought back had nothing to do with the contract. actually more students enrolled to Perkins and the additional staff was needed. The specials teachers were only reinstated to halftime status which means no benefits.

Wald

You sure that there are more students enrolled at Perkins this year, oldpirate? Source, please. I think that the threatened cuts were what many people suspected they were...lies and scare tactics.

fifteenthgreen

Band Director "Volunteer" my a**, Common Sense!!! So now the band boosters are in the business of employing people, i.e. band directors, giving them a "stipend"? The IRS know this? Are Federal, State and local taxes being taken out? Workers Comp, General Liability. Who does the director work for? Utter joke!

Common Sense

I did not say the band director, I said the assistant band director. If you want to have your questions answered, go to a board meeting and ask. What I heard was from a band parent and that makes it hearsay. Much of the same is posted here as well.
I am not certain what you are so upset about if what I posted about the "volunteer" action is true. It will not come out of your pocket, will it??

fifteenthgreen

They're essentially the same thing. They both work hand in hand. "Go to the board meeting" Why? Get my questions answered truthfully? Please! Also, why would a music teacher, or any teacher for that matter, who just bought a house and had a baby, "volunteer" their services rather than look for another job thus taking care of their family? Doesn't this seem odd to you?

Also, is he drawing unemployment?

oldpirate

It's not the evil force you make it out to be.

fifteenthgreen

No, it's a dumb one!

queenjhb

We need to vote no in November, we just feel lied to, the BOE and Gunner need to truly be accountable for this mess, until they can admit what truly THEY did, Trust is gone. C'mon ,its the right thing to do. So, no more lies, threats, deceit ,just honesty , the way back to trust, that's if they even care.

Centauri
fifteenthgreen

Beautiful!

gramafun

has anyone asked the school board to produce the monetary records over there for someone to look at? With all the businesses you have in Perkins Twp. its hard to believe that you don't have the money to run your schools without having to ask for a levy. Just wondering why they need this so badly and why you have a deficit when you shouldn't have one.

fifteenthgreen

This is your answer to why levies keep failing....job and tax revenue losses!

SR - Shuttered manufacturers

Norwalk

CVG Mayflower
Fanny Farmer
Van Dresser's

Sandusky

Philco Radio
Thakar Aluminum
Sandusky Cabinets
Scott Paper
Barr Rubber
American Crayon
G&C Foundry
Sandusky Plastics
Bechtel McLaughlin
Universal Clay
Lyman Boats
Hinde & Dauche
Ferrell Cheek
Esmond Dairy

Port Clinton

Standard Products

Huron
Pillsbury (ConAgra)

Bellevue
Armstrong Air Conditioning
Progress Plastics

Fremont
Kelsey Hayes
Epco Machines

oldpirate

15th why don't you include reduced state funding as well as unfunded federal govt. mandates. to schools.

fifteenthgreen

Ok. .......and reduced state funding as well as unfunded federal govt. mandates to schools.

The New World Czar

Let's get these days straight now- November 5th is the next levy vote and November 6th the fall sports fees due date?

Can you say "Desparate" or "Blackmail"?

VOTENO

Vote NO in NOvember!

Edwin Ison

If this "ain't" buying votes!

Pass the levy and we'll give you your money back!

Wow!

"If the November 2013 levy passes, the District will resume the $35 participation fee at the High School, and the $25 fee at the Middle School and will discontinue the fee for band/choir. Refunds for any payments in excess of $35 or $25, respectively, will be made for the sports or co-curricular activities that were paid in the fall of 2013."

Actually, it is first extortion, then bribery.

Rosa

Edwin
I totally agree with you...Total manipulation of the parents who children attend school

Centauri

How many times has the Perkins Local SD challenged property valuations?

http://www.sanduskyregister.com/...
"In March, Attorney Thomas Holmes filed a complaint to the County Board of Revision on behalf of Sandusky City Schools challenging the valuation."

Is it easier for the Perkins Local SD to beg for more money from the taxpayers?

QUESTION: How many times in the past 10 years has the Perkins Local SD challenged under-valued properties in the school district? Anybody can provide the answers.

EZOB

I stated before that those in charge should have got things rolling in Columbus with our elected people (Redfern & Gardner). I'm quite sure they would have gotten support from many other school districts and they would have pressured their representatives. November is down the tubes so it is at least another six months. The ship is sinking fast, when are they going to make a distress call?

MrGadfly

Common Sense or Bherrle,

My understanding is that music, art and PE teachers have been hired back at halftime positions.

One of the two major points as reason to pass the levy was that the school would eliminate these positions if the levy failed. The levy failed but these positions were not eliminated.

I have heard that the school administration did not read the teachers contract and are being forced to rehire these teachers.

So either the administration lied to the public about the elimination of these positions or the administration is incompetent?

I wait your reply.

fifteenthgreen

They lied. They always use these positions as pawns as they strike the hearts of the voters.

Bherrle

Gadfly & 15th,

I don't agree that the answer to the question you pose is an "either or" proposition as you have laid it out, and I don't think anyone lied either. You both seem to think that running a school district is very easy in today's world, which leads me to question why neither of you aren't already employed by the district in an effort to run it better than you feel it is currently being done.

In response to your question Gadfly, the below is what I know:

At Furry - Art, Music and Physical Education was returned to half days. Kids will receive one day of instruction in each of these areas weekly. This is a reduction from two or three days previously. It also means that 1.5 teaching positions were eliminated at Furry in these areas.

At Meadowlawn: Computers, Physical Education, and an Intervention program called Study Island were recalled to 1/2 time status. Again, the students will receive one day of computers, physical education and study island weekly. This is a significant reduction from previous student contact time in these areas. Art, music or the Gifted program teachers were not recalled to Meadowlawn. At Meadowlawn, these recalls still leave 4.5 teaching positions were eliminated at Meadowlawn in the special areas.

The decision was made to bring back some of the special area teachers at the elementary buildings for the following reasons:

1. The district received about $200,000 more from the State of Ohio than expected in 2013-14 and a little over $400,000 more than expected in 2014-15.

2. The administration did not want to reduce the school day for elementary students as this would impact families in the community at the last minute.

3. The administration was unable to change language in the teacher's contract that requires teacher planning time to occur during student contact time. The original elimination of special teachers was done with the belief that planning time could be moved to before or after the school day, with the up front understanding that it would require contract language changes. In the end, those changes were unable to be made, I believe as a part of the contract negotiations.

4. Overall current enrollment is up by 102 students from the end of last year, with open enrollment being up by 29 students. Those numbers are not final, as parents could still decide to move their children from the district.

5. A Fifth grade and a kindergarten teacher where added, above last years staffing, due to the student numbers in those grades.

Back to my opinion/comments - The target is not nailed on a wall. It is constantly moving and changing. Therefore, it is very easy for anyone to sit back, and state that something was a "threat", "they aren't following thru with what they said they'd do", and the other like criticisms that are out there. The district will continue to adjust to changing circumstances and do what is right for the kids of Perkins, which is what they are tasked to do.

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