League spells out position

During the 2012-2013 program year, the League of Women Voters of the Tiffin Area reviewed and updated its position on funding Tiffin City Schools. Following the required policies and procedures, league members first studied and then came to consensus on their recommendations for how the Tiffin City schools should allocate funds for programs, services and facilities.

Briefly summarized, the league’s position supports programs, services and facilities that:

1) Are above state minimum standards.

2) Are based on planning and prioritizing.

3) Utilize multiple sources of funding to provide adequate support.

4) Provide all students with a clean, safe and healthy environment while under the care of the Tiffin City Schools.

Education committee members studied the following operational areas within the Tiffin City Schools administrative structure:

1) Long-range planning.

2) Curriculum in middle school and high school.

3) Special education and gifted programs.

4) Extracurricular activities.

5) Facilities.

6) Transportation.

7) Technology.

8) Funding and finances.

League members found that since the 1992-1994 academic year, enrollment steadily has declined. A major factor in the drop in enrollment was the exit of Bloomville from Tiffin City Schools. There have been corresponding decreases in staff, amounting to 20 percent of total employees. In the same time period, revenues and expenditures have fluctuated, but the overall trend is a decline in both.

Some of the major aspects of the position are as follows:

If extracurricular athletics are provided, equal opportunity for participation should be available to all students.

Choices about programs, services and facilities beyond those required by state law should be on an essential vs. non-essential basis. League members prioritized what they believe to be essential vs. non-essential.

Essential programs, services and facilities must be based on priorities, and league members categorized them from high to low priority.

Funding should include a combination of property tax, income tax and bonds. The league opposes participation fees for student activities.

The league supports Tiffin City Schools creating charter schools within the district.

The league supports long-range planning by Tiffin City Schools and believes multiple constituent groups should be included in the planning process.

The members of the League of Women Voters of the Tiffin Area believe in a strong public education system and will continue to monitor, study and take action according to their position in the coming months and years.

League of Women Voters of the Tiffin Area