The Steamboat Springs School District is facing a $70,000 shortfall to fully fund all 22 athletic programs next school year. Which of the following funding options do you support?

Seeking a subsidy from the school district. 48 votes

17.84%

Cutting athletic programs, including skiing and golf. 64 votes

23.79%

Increasing athletic fees. 72 votes

26.77%

Introducing a new $85 participation fee on extracurricular activities, including Science Olympiad, National Honor Society, band and choir. 70 votes

26.02%

I don’t support any of the changes. (Share your idea in a comment below.) 15 votes

5.58%

269 total votes

Comments

Carrie Requist 1 year, 3 months ago

So there is concern that if the athletic fees are increased then athletic participation would decrease; why is there not the same concern that adding a fee to non-athletic extracurricular activities would decrease the participation in those activities? Activities like Science Olympiad receive no funding and have to do bake sales and other fund raisers for any money that they need. To put a fee on these activities and then not let the participants use any of that money is pretty audacious and would certainly send the message to the participants that their activities are less important than sports. With that message (as well as the fee) I would expect that participation would decrease. My kids do sports as well as band and things like science Olympiad and they were really upset by this idea - that there would be a fee for participation and yet they would still have to do fundraisers and not actually receive any of that fee for their activity, even if it supported their athletic teams. If there are going to be more fees, they need to be kept within athletics.

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Scott Glynn 1 year, 3 months ago

Unfortunately the paper has given an incomplete view of what has been discussed. For clarification, Mr. DeWolfe never mentioned cutting of ANY activity. His information was to show that if you cut sports out of the programs, the amount you saved is actually less than the amount of revenue you would lose from participation fees, therefore it doesn't solve the issue. One major concern is that increased fees lead to diminished participation. This scenario also leads to reduced revenue. Whether you have 40 football players or 45 the overall costs are almost static yet you are losing $900 in revenue. In the interest of full disclosure, I am the father of a high school and middle school athlete. They are also both in the GATE program, and one of them participates in band. My youngest has expressed an interest in science and is fully engaged to be able to participate in science olympiad, NHS, etc. While academic programs are phenomenal, they do not have any larger measure of intrinsic value than athletics. These academic activities have significant overhead that needs to be funded. Currently these funds come from the activities budget. The Booster Club feels that it has a fiduciary responsibility to the participants of all activities to supplement the budget to allow as much participation as possible. What has happened is that the district has mandated school sponsored transportation which is where much of the cost overrun is. If the district mandates it, it is the Booster Clubs position that they should fund it. The district has also made decisions recently that have severely limited the ability of Booster Club to raise the funds it is able to met out. We have lost out on a major fundraising activity solely based on the districts decision to open a medical clinic with which we haven't seen any benefit from. Much of this is in addition to the districts decision that flies in the face of community feedback and BOE budgeting. Last year the district requested funding for a secretary. They were subsequently denied that request. Somehow the district was able to "find" enough money to hire a part time secretary in January (9 months after the budget process). Now they are requesting funds to make that position full time. This $16,000 request doesn't seem like much, yet when combined with the additional $16,000 it stumbled across in January it is a significant dent in this funding shortage. These are the reasons that the Booster Club feels that the district should absorb the lions share of the budget shortfall that is upon us.

Scott Glynn - President Steamboat Springs Booster Club

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Aaron Murphy 1 year, 3 months ago

I'm not sure about Science Olympiad and NHS, but when I was in school, Band and Choir were considered electives - that is to say, they were classes you signed up for, not extracurricular. The band and choir also had fundraisers to participate in activities such as All-State honor events, trips to large group and solo and ensemble festivals, etc. If an $85 fee is necessary to keep extracurricular activites including sports and other activities as programs, I would support it - however it should not apply to elective classes.

One of the best things about Steamboat is the wide range of activities offered to students at the high school. I believe this is one of the major reasons we hear stories of SSHS graduates excelling in their post-academic endeavors. It would be difficult to choose which programs should and should not make the cut if $70,000 has to be removed. I don't envy those who have to make that choice.

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Aaron Murphy 1 year, 3 months ago

Also, if band and choir are, in fact, part of the elective courses that are offered by the school, wouldn't their budget be separate from the athletics and activities budget anyway? I don't understand why they are grouped into this discussion?

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 3 months ago

"These academic activities have significant overhead that needs to be funded"

Why? Why is there significant overhead? Why does it need to be funded? Is the overhead really untouchable?

Is there no way that district could certify some parents as drivers and their vehicles to satisfy the district's liability concerns? Looks to me like the smaller teams could often be transported by parents in safer and better vehicles than the district's buses. An SUV with seatbelts and airbags is a safer ride than a school bus.

And charging for NHS would seem to be absurd because the participants are supposed to be dong service projects for the school or community. So the school would be charging those that are volunteering on a service project.

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Scott Glynn 1 year, 3 months ago

Mr. Wedel, All activities are required to have a sponsor that is a member of the teaching staff. Unfortunately these teachers do not donate their time and these are paid positions that require income to be able to match their overhead. These groups take trips, participate in competitions, and incur other expenses, which cannot be met with bake sales. A participation fee is not unreasonable. I think you will find it harder to come up with examples of community service provided by "service" organizations than many of the varsity teams that SSHS has. I think you may be holding on to an outdated ideal of what the organizations had accomplished when you were in school. Opposed to the reality of current times.

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