Ordinarily, when campaigning for a tax levy, school officials warn of cutbacks that would occur if the issue were to fail. Board members and administrators claim programs, activities, instructors and other staff would be reduced or eliminated unless the voters approve more revenues.
In Tiffin City School District, which has a 4.9-mill levy on the general election ballot, the opposite has occurred.
Last spring, Tiffin City Board of Education approved reductions totaling $1.25 million effective for this school year.
Those reductions lead to the loss of 30 positions in the district.
The school board also approved cutbacks totaling $1.1 million for next school year. That would result in the loss of 16 more jobs.
Also next year, the district plans to close two of five elementary schools. Average class sizes are to rise from 23 students to 30 for grades K-5.
And - here's another departure from typical levy campaigning - the reductions envisioned for the 2012-13 school year are to occur even if the levy passes.
Let's make that clear: Next school year, two elementaries are to close, another $1.1 million is to be cut from the Tiffin City Schools budget, and the district would lose another 16 positions.
If the levy fails next Tuesday, the outlook would be even more bleak.
Superintendent Donald Coletta said without the added millage, the district would have to cut programs and reduce quality; "... everything will be on the table," he said.
"We're to the point where, quite frankly, we're not sure what else to cut," he said, "because we want to maintain the programs that make this district the excellent district that it is."
Whoa. Back up five words. In all this doom and gloom, it's easy to overlook that in the previous school year, Tiffin City Schools rated "excellent" on the state report cards. That should indicate more than any other data that TCS administrators, faculty and staff are making the most of the resources they are given.
But the phase-out of a tangible personal property tax cost the district $600,000 this year. The district is to lose another $2 million due to cutbacks in the current two-year state budget.
Therefore, the board has asked residents in the district to help defray those losses. More importantly, it has asked voters to help maintain an excellent school system. We urge a "yes" vote for the levy.