School board talks levy drive

Tiffin City Board of Education was given an update on the upcoming renewal tax levy campaign during the regular board meeting Tuesday evening.

Bryce Riggs, a resident and Tiffin Columbian High School graduate, again is chairing the campaign.

The levy first was passed in 2004 and has been reduced to 4.2 mills, which costs the owner of a $100,000 home $11 a month.

Riggs said working on the campaigns has been rewarding.

“The end of the day, it is about student success and being able to provide the resources they need to have fulfilling careers and live a great life,” he said.

The campaign committee has met numerous time since February, he said, and has planned events for voters, including Coffee Talks April 14 and May 5. Fact sheets are to be distributed soon and a website (yesfortcs. is live.

“Everything is going strong,” Riggs said.

The board approved a contract with National School Safety and Security Services Inc.

Superintendent Gary Barber said the consultation services are to include assessment of district policies and practices, safety drills, facility entrances and exits, and staff and student preparedness. Representatives then are to recommend any changes.

Cost is a flat rate of $19,850.

Resident Wendy Rosen spoke to the board about the district’s budget, including a request to eliminate pay-to-participate, and questioned whether it makes fiscal sense to keep an entire building open for a preschool.

Board member Dean Henry said the board is monitoring the cost of operating Lincoln Pre-School.

Phil Gase, also a resident, challenged the student board representatives, seniors Natalie Gase and Patrick DelTurco, to encourage students who will be 18 by the May 8 special election to vote in favor of the renewal tax levy.

“It is important to keep this funding coming in,” he said.

On another matter, the board discussed House Bill 512, which Henry said “will gut the Ohio State Board of Education.”

“It is going to eliminate all academic duties that state board has,” he said.

Henry said it will be impossible to predict what is coming from the state.

According to a release provided by the state House of Representatives, the bill would create a cabinet-level agency, the Ohio Department of Learning and Achievement. The agency is to consist of representatives from the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation.

“I don’t see how this would benefit us,” Henry said. “We have to take a harder look at this, but I’m not sure anything is going to stop it.”

Henry said most educators and education agencies do not support the bill.

During the meeting, the board also recognized Tiffin Columbian wrestlers, sophomore Caden Blust and junior Joey Simcoe, who qualified to wrestle at the state tournament earlier this month. Also recognized were seniors Abby Fox and Morgan Cranmore, who have pieces in the Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition.

The board entered into executive session to consider the appointment, employment or compensation of public employees and the purchase of property for public purposes. No action was taken.

In other news, the board:

• Heard the first readings of proposed revised board policies and regulations.

• Approved retirements, resignations and employment.

• Accepted donations and grants.

• Approved an amended contract with North Central Ohio Educational Service Center.

• Approved a contract with Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties.

• Approved psychologist contracts with Molly Depew and Catherine Flemming.

• Approved a College Credit Plus contract with Terra State Community College.

• Approved a pupil-activity permit for Amy Lutz, assistant varsity softball.

• Approved a contract with Seneca County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

• Approved a contract with American Fidelity.

• Approved a contract to adopt an insurance plan and summary of material modifications with North Central Ohio Trust.

The next meeting is at 7 p.m. April 24 in the Tiffin Middle School cafetorium, 103 Shepherd Drive.