Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pay to Play for Athletics

I knew this was looming for Seattle high schools but this article in the Times shows it is spreading rapidly throughout our area. I guess it's a sign of the times. We have a lot of sports, they cost money (in transportation, coaches, uniforms, etc.). It also becomes an issue like the drama differences between high schools (Roosevelt versus Rainier Beach, for example). Many schools have sports booster clubs and it is likely there are big money differences between schools (and probably between sports as well). I know that the Seattle high school principals voted to return to the Metro league (versus King-Co) because of the issue of transportation costs but that's the last I heard.

The Roosevelt PTSA is going to try to set up a scholarship fund for free/reduced lunch athletes so that any student who wants to participate in sports can do so. I know this is not probably not going to happen everywhere and it seems sad that some kids may not be able to participate. I know at Roosevelt (like some of the other schools in the article), athletes had to purchase an ASB (associated student body) card to participate. I wonder if the fee means that purchase is no longer required.


Jet City mom said...

I have to say- I hate this.
I never had to pay extra for athletics when I was in school-
ASB cards yes- but not to be on a sports team.

When parents and kids want to do fundraisers= thats fine and great- so do the orchestra and drama groups

But do kids have to pay to be in a theatre production?
The kids that are most inspired to keep up their grades because it will allow them to participate on a team- often cannot afford to pay to do so.
No I don't normally like a tangible reward with grades, but it is a fact of life that the groups with the most racial and economic diversity in a city high school are the sports teams.
We should not be putting up barriers to kids to participate.

Anonymous said...

Our elementary school has fees for band, orchestra, 5th grade camp and the after school chess & drama programs. They are considered donations, because no one is turned away for non payment. The PTSA provides scholarships for band & orchestra. Other parents in 5th grade camp, chess & drama pay or fundraise to cover those who need scholarships.

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of suggested donations, instead of the mandatory fee. Most people will be able to pay at most schools in Seattle. The ones that can't, shouldn't have to. This will surely ease the bill for the district, but will also allow kids who want to participate to do so, even if they can't afford it. I don't think someone should have to apply for a scholorship to play a sport. That's simply demeaning. A suggested donation is much more welcoming and discrete.

Anonymous said...

I wonder where the line should be drawn? I don't like having to pay for basics in school at all. At our school we have to pay for K, pay for music, pay for vocal music, and for field trips. We even paid for drama this year (they hired a drama teacher to come in and put on the play). I think if it happens during school hours, then it should come from general fundraising or suggested donations. If it happens after school then fine charge, with the exception of sports programs which should be a given. If you want an after school chess club, or day care then fine, pay for that, but music during the school day is way out of line. In my opinion.

Imagine paying for full day kindergarten ?? We are so used to it we don't even realize how outrageous that is!

Anonymous said...

We tallied up that we spent over $1200 one school year. Between fundraising (we did the minimum that was asked of us), the auction (we didn't buy much), pay for k fee for one of our kids, school supplies for both, field trips for both, camp for both (every grade at their school goes to camp every year), and music for one of them.

That does not even include my many hours of volunteer time, both in class and on the PTA.

Isn't this enough??? Must we charge for even more now?? I don't think so. It's time to say no.

Anonymous said...

Students will still have to purchase ASB membership. But, there is an ability for the principal to waive the fees if the student is FRL elligable, or they have other reason to believe that it would cause an economic hardship.

"I don't like having to pay for basics in school at all. At our school we have to pay for K, pay for music, pay for vocal music, and for field trips"

Help lead the chance with the state, who only funds half-day K, though there is apilot program to fund all day K. If WA was not in the basement on education funding, parents would not have to pay for things that seem basic, but are not covered by the state's basic ed dollars.

Anonymous said...

Shoreline has kids pay for sports too, though it's a much more reasonable price, about $15 per kid. They even pay for electives, though again, very nominal fees in the $10-25 range.

This is what it's come to.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that for many people, $25 is not nominal, particularly if you have two or three kids at the high school level, each playing two or three sports (or taking two or three electives).

Anonymous said...


You have twice now written that the "Seattle high school principals voted to return to the Metro league (versus King-Co) because of the issue of transportation costs."

That is not true. The prinicpals considered it, but never ended up taking a vote.


Jet City mom said...

well I was gonna say Garfield is $50 for one sport ( I think ASB is $25 or $50) and $75 for two or more.

However, I also looked up to see what Boston charges at their schools.

Never mind- Sorry I brought it up!
A group called Save Our Sports is working to raise enough money by Sept. 7 to bring that $495 fee down to $325 per sport or less.

Jet City mom said...

Where have I been- I forgot that Ammon McWashington isn't head of Athletics anymore.
I have a daughter who has had to miss lots of class- because of driving to Juanita and farther for sporting events- but after reading Jack Hamann's letter, I have changed my position re Metro vs Kingco

BTW where is an easy tutorial to learn the HTML that can be used on Blogger?

Beth Bakeman said...

Sorry I've been absent so much from the blog. I'm in Scotland for the summer working, and not feeling like I have much to contribute to the conversation.

But I can answer Classof75's blogger HTML question. When I want to do HTML in comment posts, I look up the "how to" in the Blogger Help.

For example, search for "HTML URL link" and see what you find. I can't put the results here because it keeps creating links and hiding the code. :-)

You can also try following this link to see if you find the results.

Blogger Help

Beth Bakeman said...

Sorry -- that Blogger Help link with search results doesn't seem to work.

Try this generic Blogger Help link and then do a search for "URL HTML link."

Melissa Westbrook said...

The reason I mentioned that the principals had voted is because the principal at Roosevelt told me they had. Either he is mistaken or it hasn't been properly reported.

I was also notified that, at Roosevelt at least, student athletes have to buy an ASB card ($50) plus pay the fee.

Anonymous said...


Which principal at Roosevelt, because according to the radio coverage on the topic, Dick Campbell did not attend, but I believe Brian Vance did.

Al Hairston (who is still supervised by Ammon McWashington) said that the meeting lasted for several hours and ended with a vote to table the motion. Out of curosity, I called to confirm today and the news story was accurate and the most current information on the topic.

Jet City mom said...

Garfield ASB is also $50-
Then the first sport is $50 & 2nd sport $25.
So I just wrote a check for $125-which frankly is a lot for us-
I am also appalled that FRL students have to pay anything- as the ceiling on FRL is very low-
Many people can't afford to buy gas to get to work, but don't qualify for FRL.
I think it is great that the Roosevelt PTA is helping students & I know the Garfield PTA is also very active- for instance they cover subs in the counseling office.
But what about schools who don't have that sort of support?
All schools should have librarians- cafeterias & custodians.
The level shouldn't depend on what the building decides to spend their money on.
For a comprehensive high school- athletic teams are also a basic.
Even at Garfield, sports teams often don't have adequate uniforms or safety equipment.
The football team was using cast offs from the Huskies at one point-
When we have money to rent facilities to offer boutique schools like the Center school, how can we not insure that sports teams are supported?

Anonymous said...

Copied this from Kellogg MS (shoreline) website:

Arts & Culture $10.00
Concert Band $20.00
Ceramics I & II $15.00 Initial Fee Symphonic Band $20.00
Drawing & Painting $10.00 Wind Ensemble $20.00
Print Making $15.00
Jazz Band $10.00
Chef's School I & II $15.00 Concert Orchestra $20.00
FACTS $5.00
Symphonic Orchestra` $20.00
Wood Technology I & II $25.00
Visions of Technology $10.00
Piano Lab $12.00
Trimester Chorus $5.00

Anonymous said...

Trchnically, when it comes to paying a fee related to the above classes, you are not paying for the class, but are instead paying for supplies (which includes the royalties that need to be paid for performing music). It is not legal for public schools to charge for the class, but they can charge lab and materials fees. And, befor people raise "pay for all day K," you are only paying for the portion of the day that the state does not fund, meaning it is perfectally legal for Districts to charge for the unfunded portion until such a time that the state deems all day K to be part of "basic" education.