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Playing School Sports Could Cost Money

The Board of Education will vote on a policy Thursday that would give school officials the option to charge students to participate in school-sponsored activities, including clubs and sports.

Joining the chess club or playing on the soccer team at school could cost money soon.

The is scheduled to vote on policy Thursday that could require families to pay a fee in order for children to participate in co-curricular or athletic programs, including sports. The board is scheduled to meet on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the .

The pay-to-play policy would authorize officials to establish a participatory fee program to help supplement revenue to operate the programs.

Approving the policy does not guarantee the establishment of a fee program, only that officials have the option of implementing one if they choose.

Board President Donald Pavlak Jr. said that despite officials having the option to do so, they would not establish the program now.

“At this point we’re not going to do it,” Pavlak said. “We’re just looking at a lot of different options that are on the table. It’s a tough situation today. We’re trying to make due with less and we’re trying to maintain the high quality of standards that we have.”

Pavlak said the policy merely updates an already existing one, it does not create a new fee structure.

Superintendent Ray Gonzalez would recommend what the fees should be for each activity. The board would approve them on an annual basis prior to the start of the registration process for the activity.

Fees would be paid when a student signs up for his or her first activity of the school year. The policy would permit fees to be “waived or reduced based on financial hardship.” Gonzalez would be the final arbiter of all waver requests.

Operating costs, rental fees, the hiring of referees, and maintenance would factor into determining how much to charge for a particular activity, the policy states.

Refunds would not be provided if a pupil quits during the course of an activity. Refunds would only be made in the event a pupil is not accepted into an activity due to a “lack of available space or opportunity within the activity,” such as not receiving a part in a school play or being cut from an athletic team.

Refunds would also be granted in the event that the district does not offer the activity after the registration process for that activity has started.

— Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Al Scala July 19, 2012 at 10:48 AM
They can hire a PR firm at a cost of 30K plus.....they can hire a teacher from Clifton making $56,650 and pay her $80,030 to take the same job ,they can hire a new District AD at a salary of 128K, plus 2 new site co-ordinators that will be making $80,030 and 75,050 respectively, not including an additional stipend ( to be negotiated), but they want to charge the student's parents to pay this fee. If there is no intention to charge, why have it? They can always pass this at any time if they need to. It is the exact same Board that disbanded this last year that is now again putting it in place! Oh, and by the way, Olsen and Kilday are still being paid 128k. Their salaries have not been reduced or adjusted to their job positions, although Kilday has now been put in a new supervisory position. If our District was running lean and desperately needed this revenue to keep taxes down, I wouldn't argue.This is not the case......far from it!
Joe videodummy July 19, 2012 at 11:43 AM
We may be in an era of tight funding, but all these fees do are force lower-income families to the side-lines. Mainly because the fees are only one component of the total sports cost. The sports family has to also consider equipment, lessons, and in some cases having to pay-higher-deductibles for sports related injuries. It shouldn't have to cost more to profide the benefits of higher school achievement, lower dropout rates, improved health, reduced obesity, or the development of skills like teamwork and problem-solving. Sports should be exempt from pay-to-play and continue to be a part of the educational experience that it has been for the past 100+ years.
B. Broadway July 19, 2012 at 02:06 PM
In order to keep kids out of trouble they need activities, whether it be chess or soccer. When parents can't or won't pay - will our taxes go up to hire extra police to keep them in line? The town where I grew up has school sponsored activities, clubs and sports at the junior high level, paid for by taxes and is much smaller. The BOE is doing nothing for the middle schoolers. We need more programs, not less. As for sports, Wayne has a bad rep with regards to sports attitudes. If we had more programs that addressed a greater ability range it would better serve our children - cutting a good player beuause we have a limited amount of room could also cause that child to find trouble. We also have too big a town to not field multiple teams, a school as big as Hills or Valley can support more than 1 JV team and there are opponents that would be happy to play a "B" squad of Waynes caliber and maybe those players/parents would be grateful for the opportunity and help change the dynamic of Wayne sports. Also, we need one more large facility, like Barbour Pond, with better parking, for a town this size. Also, the field use in general has to be better run/scheduled. Wayne is called a Republican town but Republicans are fiscal conservatives - where are the conservatives on our School Board and Council? Fire the PR firm, we do not need an Asst. Super. and find other wasteful areas to trim or cut, not the extracurricular activites for the children.
Ron July 19, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Yes, nice salaries for 8 months of work and less than 35 hrs/week. Still don't get how people believe teachers get underpaid. When you look at it per hour of work, its an incredible amount of money. How about reducing salaries and giving athletes' parents a break.
Nose Wayne July 20, 2012 at 01:59 PM
HOW TO SAVE A MILLION DOLLARS!!!!! Now that I have your attention, CUT- PR Firm, Asst. Super.,Dean of Students,Asst. Dean of Students, NEW site co-ordinators, Remove Olsen and Kilday 128K. Think that should cover the MILLION DOLLARS the board could use toward funding SCHOOL SPORTS !!! REMEMBER, IT'S ALL FOR THE CHILDREN AS YOU SAY !!

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