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 Board of Education 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 council chamber.
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.