Archive for December 20, 2011

Guest Blog- The Sorcerer’s Apprentice- SPORTS FUN(ding) cha ching

Other posts by the Sorcerer’s Apprentice

ED NOTE TW : Lorain Board of Education Consent to Football

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“The boys of Lorain high school may play football. They may buck and tug and roll each other in the mud till their necks are dislocated, their joints sprained their muscles torn and wrenched and their bodies bruised up to their best friends will not know them – but there’s the rub- if their parents say so”

Here we go again, the last part of this tour through The Morning Journal article on Dec. 15, 2011.

Before I start let me share that I believe that athletics, clubs and the arts play a part in a well rounded education. The opportunity should be available to all students. With that said, let me say that fiscal responsibility means that you cannot exclude any program without at least considering how to make it self sufficient. No individual athletic program should be excluded from examination, some are not more important than others. All athletic offerings are important to someone. I know speaking out about sports will bring down the roof, but we need to look at EVERYTHING.


“Certain programs are not currently being considered for cutbacks. These include major activities like football, marching band and theater. Also safe are new Beginnings and Credit Recovery which help students with special problems to overcome their difficulties; the marketing department and TV 20.”

So, football, marching band and theater are not going to be cut. OK, fine! How about going with the dreaded pay to participate?

Other districts have done it over the short term, why can’t we? Please, don’t tell me that our city’s economy poverty level precludes us from going this route. There is enough money being thrown after lottery tickets, cigarettes and alcohol to make sure that a student can participate. The booster groups raise lots of money to support those activities (I know, I helped raise funds for band uniforms and trips and athletics, so I know it can be done.) If you feel that those activities are important to your students overall educational experience, then you will find a way to make it happen. That’s what parents do!

We also need to re-examine the supplemental payments associated with these “included” activities. If you go back to the Board agenda of Dec. 14, 2011, you will find a lot of additional money being used to supplement music program directors. The supplemental payments for football are on much earlier agendas and I am sure they are MORE than what is being paid for music and theater.

If the powers that be would take the amount of money being paid as a supplemental to the “coach” and divide it by the number of participants, I’m sure that the cost would not be that prohibitive. (Nothing is prohibitive if you want it for your child. It’s a matter of setting priorities, deciding what is important.)

*e.g.: The supplemental payment for high school wrestling coaches is $18,484.06. {As per the agenda of Dec. 14, 2011} Let’s say we have 30 students on the team, that’s 616.13 per student. NOW, how important is wrestling for these students? How many will be going on to college or Olympic wrestling? Is this a good expenditure? How badly do parents want this program to support it and make it viable?

*e.g.: Girls Basketball Coach at the middle school – $2662.96. Let’s say 15 girls on the team, that’s $177 per student. Again how important is this to the student and the parent?

*e.g.: A coach gets $2662.96 while a special education supplemental payment to a teacher is $496.94. What kind of message does that send? Appears sports are more important than education in the classroom


*e.g.: Jazz Band Director High School- $2,193.02. Let’s say there are about 35 students in the Jazz band that would be about $62.65 per student. Again, how important is this activity to the parents and students involved?
(including a music supplemental just so I don’t look like I’m picking on just sports)

I have heard that if we withdraw from the “conference” we will be financially penalized, we need to look at other options. OK, so we don’t leave, just find a better way to fund the activity. We already know that booster clubs raise a lot of funds to supplement the teams, its time for everyone to take a look at helping student athletes be just that, student athletes (emphasis mine). Saying that sports lead to college scholarships is true, but academic achievement leads to scholarships also. (Again, I speak from personal experience!) The athletics may get you noticed, but if you can’t do the academic work, you aren’t going to make it.

As per The Morning Journal:

“Lorain Schools Athletic Director Bryan Koury indicated the schools would have football, volleyball, basketball, wrestling, baseball, softball and track. But bowling, swimming, golf, tennis, cheerleading, cross country and soccer could be removed, pending board approval.”

QUESTION? Tell me the cost factor for each listed sport, including coach’s supplemental payments, uniforms, equipment, and maintenance of the fields, tracks and gymnasiums. How much does each cost? We have seen above what the cost is for some of these just in coach supplemental payment, but it is time for the school district to put out ALL the information.

Stop trying to blackmail us with sports. That was tried in the early 90’s and it started to student loss scenario we are still dealing with today. Why are the listed programs so much more important than the others?

OMG, you are going to have football without cheerleaders!?! How could you!!!

Was not aware we had a swimming program! If so, there must be a lot of expense involved for no Y pool, school pool, or public pool locally so they can participate and practice. Where do they practice? (Is that why they wanted the new high school by the river, a place to practice among the boats? Free water?) Where do they compete? When my brother wanted to swim competitively, my parents found a program, transported him to practices, meets and whatever else was required. There was no “school” program. He wanted it and his parents provided. . (Note: he “swam” with other school employees/administrators children, all funded by the PARENTS.)

Let’s look at everything and do the best with what we have. The last place we can afford to reduce costs is in the classroom. Working to improve overall test results of academics has to be a priority. Cutting instructional staff, cutting education is not the answer to any of the problems facing OUR district and students.

Please remember we are here to give our children/students the very best education they can get so they can be prepared to step forward and face the future with the necessary skills.


December 20, 2011 at 10:57 pm 14 comments



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December 2011