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To The Tiffin City Schools Board of Education: Don't Do It

December 11, 2011 - Al Stephenson
I read the report from the school board meeting and I was stunned. Not shocked mind you, but perhaps alarmed would be a more appropriate word. Tiffin City Schools are considering canceling its spring sports. The rationale behind the proposal is to save money with the amount of $50,000 being bandied about.

Here's my suggestion to the board: DON'T DO IT!

There is no question that the Tiffin City Schools are in a financial crisis. Levy after levy has gone down as taxpayers are struggling with a tough economy. Serious cuts have already been made as elementary schools will soon be closed while teaching and administrative positions have been eliminated. Yet still the deficit exists. I wish I had answers as to how to get a levy passed, but I don't.

Cutting out extracurricular activities may seem like the next logical step towards balancing the budget, but I'm not sure it will work. Let me explain.

If sports are cut at Columbian High School it is likely that some students will transfer to other schools. If those students are underclassmen that never return, Tiffin City Schools will lose state money. What seems like a way to save money initially may well result in losing money down the road.

It is hard for me to imagine a school without athletics. It is an integral part of a students total educational experience whether they are a participant or a spectator. The activities give kids something to look forward to besides going to class day after day. Without sports to occupy their after school hours, I shudder to think what they might do with the time otherwise devoted to the playing fields. It may not be pretty.

In my nearly 40 years in education I have seen schools that put too much emphasis on athletics. Not having sports may be just as damaging.

The view from my seat suggests that Tiffin City Schools would be better served to keep its athletic programs.


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