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Friday, March 12, 2010

Budget Area 5: Athletics & Extracurricular Activities

During the final Community Roundtable, which took place on Monday, March 8, participants discussed each area of the school budget and made recommendations to the Board of Education regarding which programs and services could be cut and which should be maintained. In order to keep the conversation going, we invite readers to post their thoughts on the following question that was presented to participants at the Community Roundtable. (Click here to read a PDF document that outlines the steps taken so far in the budget development process.)

During the fifth Community Roundtable in February, participants discussed topics related to athletics and extracurricular activities. Some of the participants’ most common recommendations were:
  • Extracurricular activities are an important part of a well-rounded education.
  • The numerous benefits of extracurricular activities are well worth the 1.25% of the school budget they cost.
  • Students who participate in athletics and clubs develop character traits that are not as easily taught and developed in the classroom.
  • If you cut clubs and sports, attendance will drop, the tardy rate will go way up, discipline referrals will increase, and test scores and academics will be hurt.
  • Cutting clubs would affect more kids than cutting a teacher.
As is the case in all areas of the budget, there are certain budget items within athletics and extracurricular activities that cannot be reduced or cut because of state and/or federal education law. However, other budget items could be reduced or eliminated. In the chart at the bottom of this PDF document, only budget items that could be completely eliminated have a corresponding “estimated tax levy impact” figure. Budget items that cannot be cut are listed in italics; because they cannot be cut, the “estimated tax levy impact” column is not applicable.

Do you believe the Board of Education should look for cost savings in this area? If so, what budget items should it consider reducing or eliminating?

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