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

December 20, 2011 at 10:57 pm 14 comments

Other posts by the Sorcerer’s Apprentice

ED NOTE TW : Lorain Board of Education Consent to Football

Click on image to enlarge

“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.


Entry filed under: city of lorain, education, personal opinion, sports. Tags: , , .

Sorcerer’s Apprentice- Morning Journal and Lorain City Schools A CHRIS- MISS – Wish —— 2011——- Chris Ritchey

14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alice  |  December 21, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Wasn’t there a student/athlete grade requirement in place at one time that had to be lifted because the kids weren’t making the grades to stay eligible?

    Why are sports more important than academics in Lorain?

  • 2. Brian  |  December 21, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    You’re funny…
    “With that said, let me say that fiscal responsibility means that you cannot exclude any program without at least making it self sufficient”.

    You must be a teacher, Don’t you dare cut me job, cut over there.

    The problems of the district is that it cannot afford the people that works for it. The district is paying top top dollar for the staff that it has. Why talk about the average wage of a starting teacher in Lorain when it hasn’t hired a new teacher in how many years?

  • 3. Loraine Ritchey  |  December 21, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Alice I don’t know about LCS but I know that Lorain Catholic had a grade requirement – I guess I always thought that was the way it was in US schools ( not having been educated under the American system ) I just asked my husband he said that they had one when he was in high school…… Anyone know for sure whether there is a grade requirement in place now in LCS to participate?

  • 4. Grammy  |  December 21, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    You may attend any public or non-public high
    school in which you are accepted when you enter
    high school (grade 9) from a 7th-8th grade school.
    In order to maintain eligibility for grades 9-12,
    you must be currently enrolled in a member
    school and have received passing grades in a minimum
    of five (5) one credit courses, or the equivalent,
    in the immediately preceding grading period.
    Seventh- and eighth-grade students must be currently
    enrolled in a member school and have
    received passing grades in a minimum of five subjects
    that receive a grade or a pass/fail in the
    immediately preceding grading period.
    • A student becomes a member of an interscholastic
    squad, and thus establishes eligibility, when
    he/she participates in a contest (scrimmage,
    preview or regular season game).
    • You may not use summer school grades for failing
    grades received or lack of courses taken in
    the final grading period.
    • Your semester or yearly grades have no effect on
    OHSAA eligibility.
    • Those taking postsecondary school courses must
    comply with OHSAA scholarship regulations.
    • The eligibility or ineligibility of a student continues
    until the start of the fifth school day of the
    next grading period, at which time the grades
    from the immediately preceding grading period
    become effective. Note: Check with your principal
    or athletic administrator to determine the
    exact date that eligibility will be restored.
    (Found on line.)

    This is from the Eligibility Guide of the Ohio State High School Athletic Association. The fuzzy part is the “passing grades”. Does not tell you what a passing grade is. So that would need clarification as to whether that is a C in five subjects, or what other combination. If it is on a pass/fail option, than anything other than an F is passing.

  • 5. Loraine Ritchey  |  December 21, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Don’t you love the “fuzzy parts” ? Seems there is a lot of that in government and contracts and even in responses on this blog with regard to an on going situation.

    “I never had sex with that woman” ( depends on your definiton of sex – 🙂 and I was never a confidential informant for the Lorain Police Dept – didn’t say anything about other agencies ( sigh) ( Brian called that 🙂 so fuzzy wuzzy language again rears its head….. hopefully I will get some clarification on the grades for LCS…….. I am so tired of the goobdlegook

  • 6. Loraine Ritchey  |  December 21, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    And they wonder WHY we are so cynical and distrustful – we the taxpayer – the reader- the great unwashed

  • 7. Brian  |  December 21, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    Nickels here, quarters there. Twelve MILLION DOLLARS is a lot of freakin money. You can try to sing till the cows come home and nobody is going to deal with the real problems.

    It is going to become the States fault whatever happens because nuttin ain’t gettin done till then because there is gonna be a levy soon

  • 8. Grammy  |  December 22, 2011 at 1:12 am

    Brian, do you realize that the State is not the answer. Read the suggested link and try and understand, the State coming in is only more loans and politics.

  • 9. LIsa  |  December 22, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    “…there is gonna be a levy soon”

    From what I understand, the State will make us put a levy on every ballot until one passes.

  • 10. Bill Sturgill  |  December 22, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    I don’t think sports are or ever should be more important than academics not only in Lorain but anywhere. I wish keeping a sport was as simple as dividing the supplemental by the amt. of participants but that doesn’t work either. There are other costs that have to be factored in, busing, facilities, etc.
    Negeotiations are still on going on the other peices such as art, music and PE. Hopefully the pie will get sliced in a more humane way. Maybe the sacrifice should be shared by all but the shame on us is that we have to sacrifice anyone or any program. I do however agree with Grammy I don’t like the state coming in. I would rather clean my own house. Not many are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to do this. The loan however is interest free and has to be paid back over a period of 10 years. If we go $12 million in cuts the devestation will be effect the district for the next 20 years.

    I sometimes wonder about coaches and sports. I would never coach a sport because it is a paid position. If you don’t have the passion for the sport and serving children you are doing it for the wrong reason. To bad there are rules on transportion, and some parents would do this but most would not ,and burden always falls on the one’s who care. Just my opinion.

  • 11. Bill Sturgill  |  December 22, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Lisa, you are correct that is a requirement. The state doesn’t give you anything they just prop you up till you can help yourself.

  • 12. Grammy  |  December 22, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    So we borrow and have to pay back in a timely fashion AND have to pass a levy and bear the cost of ballot issues. Looks like a hole that’s going to take a very long time to dig out of.

  • 13. Brian  |  December 22, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    I understand that the state isn’t the answer, so what is? Continue down the same path because I am not to darn happy to hear that the group of highly educated adults can’t figure out how to balance their own pocketbooks without getting more from my wallet.

    I don’t think I would mind as much if it was really for the kids, but it isn’t. It is about money, power, agendas, and egos.

    Is it really about the kids? If it was, this wouldn’t be the problem that it is today. So what is the real issues? Once they have been IDENTIFIED, public DISCUSSION can occur.

    This is still a one sided conversation. Everyone is complaining and talking about all the things that the real issues have created, but no one wants to talk about what is really going on.

    I will try to explain this better if I have time after work to do so.

  • 14. Loraine Ritchey  |  December 22, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Hopefully Brian the discussion even if a little lopsided will give those that read this blog at least some idea of what people are thinking. As you know from the old WoM it was only when there was “disagreement” with opinions that we got loads of comments etc.

    I believe there are two reasons for this not to be happening ( but for the brave few on this discussion) apart from having to “be a person” when commenting. ( although there was at least one I allowed that I wasn’t quite sure that was their real personna- only because their comment was valid)- …..

    the other reason I feel is most are in “agreement ” with the thoughts and opinions…..

    I will after the holidays compile some of the thoughts into a post which may paint a picture for the LCS – in the meantime the blog is open to anyone with thoughts who would like the space on a guest post.

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December 2011

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