We are writing to express our support for renewing the Tiffin City Schools emergency levy May 6. We encourage everyone to do the same.
Our strong endorsement is based on four main points.
First, we cannot weaken our unique positioning as an attractive and inviting community. The city of Tiffin is a tremendous place for families and individuals, small and large businesses, retailers and manufacturers, schools and universities, nonprofit organizations and government agencies to thrive together and call this home. Our distinctive community strength is that business, arts and education are each strong sectors on their own and they interact together in compelling ways that distinguish us from other similarly sized communities. This levy supports one of these key assets directly and thus, all of them.
Second, we believe the economic, social and intellectual growth and prosperity of Tiffin depends on having a strong public school system. It is inconceivable that this community could thrive from one generation to another without a healthy, vibrant and well-funded K-12 public school. Along with the other excellent educational choices in Tiffin, our children depend on it. While not perfect, our Tiffin City Schools have been very successful at providing a high-quality educational opportunity for most students in the system for a long time. We must push forward to maintain this positive momentum and to address any weaknesses. If there are disagreements with a particular decision or direction, then we should address the issue but not punish the students with reduced funding. This levy helps to fulfill the longer term objectives.
Third, we appreciate the quality and respect the value of Tiffin's public schools. We were raised in public schools. We believe in them. As parents of two children and an AFS daughter in the system, our overall educational experiences in Tiffin have been excellent. The teachers, coaches, staff and administrators in the TCS system are talented, hard-working, engaged and committed individuals who work to provide great learning opportunities for our children and all children. It would be inaccurate to argue that everything here is "A" quality all of the time. It is not, and no school can say that honestly. But the aggregate report card is outstanding and the overall future plans are very good. The purpose of this levy is to provide 7 percent of the projected total annual TCS operating budget. This levy enables future success to build on current success.
Finally, we are trying to approve an existing levy that was first passed in 2004 and then renewed in 2009. This vote is not about expanding the TCS operating budget through a new tax on Tiffin citizens. It seeks to preserve the present funding base already in place. If we want to ensure the current quality of academic and extracurricular programs are maintained by the teachers, coaches, mentors, counselors, administrators, and other staff in the classrooms and labs, on the fields and courts and across the performance states and art shows, then we must hold the line on this needed funding. This levy maintains support for our community's students and does not increase anyone's taxes.
We hope that our view on renewing the TCS levy presents a fair and accurate perspective on why everyone should be supportive at the vote May 6. Thank you.
Rob Huntington and Susan McCafferty,