is sports really necessary in America’s public schools ? Re: Christina School District

Athletics cuts loom in Christina district, JV status undecided by WDEL By Sean Greene

Athletics cuts are coming to the cash-strapped Christina School District, but the full extent remains unknown following a district school board meeting Tuesday night at Gauger-Cobbs Middle School.

Bob Silber, the Christina School District’s Assistant Superintendent and Chief Financial Officer, introduced a preliminary budget for the 2015-2016 school year he hoped addressed an estimated $8.5 million shortfall.

Junior varsity and freshman programs at the district’s three high schools–Newark, Christiana, and Glasgow–were believed to be on the chopping block, but none were specifically listed on the line-item in Silber’s proposal.

The district may cut athletic transportation to save $83,000, but those cuts don’t necessarily signal the end of programs. They could affect the “activity buses” that take athletes and other students home after games and practices–programs that end later than the finish of the traditional school day. One option included the possibility of fewer buses running more routes, while maximizing the number of students on each route.

JV teams aren’t out of the woods, either. One proposal called for an end to “extra pay for extra responsibility,” (EPER) which is how coaches for sports and extracurricular activities are paid. Christina plans to slice that budget by more than 40 percent to $629,000, down from $912,000.

Wouldn’t no-pay for extra responsibility be warranted. It seems every-time there is a call for more money its for the kids! PTA parents work for free, community sports leagues work for free and even school board members work for free. Isn’t is about time labor cut the kids a break and just forgo EPER? Perhaps we can get some community volunteers to do some coaching!  

Folks the reality is, across the nation public schools are facing budget concerns. Sports might become a thing of the past.  

You know if we want to complete in the global economy we might want to see how China handles sports 

HARBIN, China – An enormous red-and-gold banner stretches down the gray masonry front of the No. 19 High School in this northern Chinese city, proclaiming its proudest achievement: Ninety-two percent of this year’s graduates won admission to universities.

Like most Chinese high schools, No. 19 has no sports teams and no gymnasium. On the pavement outside, there are a handful of basketball hoops and a set of rusty metal parallel bars. The playground was completely empty on a recent summer afternoon.

“The cool kids are the ones who do best at their studies,” says Niu Shibin, 18. Mr. Niu, who will be a junior in September, says he likes to play basketball, but his nearly 12 hours a day of school work leave him little time.

China’s elite young athletes may be winning a lot of medals at the Olympics. But in China, organized sports still aren’t really something for regular kids.


15 responses to “is sports really necessary in America’s public schools ? Re: Christina School District

  1. I think that a lot of people, including me are ready for all of the school districts to reduce the overhead. Cut administration costs! I think the tactic of punishing the students to make the parents support a referendum is fast losing support everywhere. Average people are being taxed right out of their homes. Let us see real cuts everywhere except the classroom and student supports. This would help win back the support of the community.


    • Publius e decere

      I hear you. But I think that 80-85% of all costs today are in “classrooms and student supports”. It is substantially all in personnel salaries and benefits. Despite the expected pushback, we the public need to have an honest conversation about affordability of the existing practices in step-increases, defined benefit pensions, low-employee-contributions to health care, and class size. There are many ways to address the cost of classrooms and student supports which can benefit students and outcomes provided that we measure and unshackle the high-performing employees so that they can prevail. Overhead is a step in the right direction, but we need far more innovation in classroom effectiveness than we will get by nibbling at the edges of central office administrations.


    • Or we could always raise tax rates on the top one percent so they finally pay their fair share; like giving them a top marginal rate of 50% and then use that money to supplement the property tax that can’t possibly increase for the next 10 years because the one percent will allow no one to receive substantive raises.. Why not raise it to 60%.. or 70%… What the hell. make the top rate 80% … and then spend, spend, spend… build, build, build, and put America to work, work, work… Imagine… billionaires saying the little people have to go without pensions because it is costing them money… Ridiculous… Well to be honest, when billionaires are broke, and have zero more dollars to take to spend on schools, then.. perhaps we should at that point possibly look at pensions … but not one day before… How stupid of them to even suggest such a ridiculous thing… Tax the top one percent as much as we need until our public entities can pay their public bills and then… we’ll plateau. At that point our theoretical is ideal.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with kavips. For all the families attending a school district sponsored school raise the rates on the families that aren’t in free and reduced $1000 per child attending to fund the sports programs.


    • Publius e decere

      Leave it to Kav to misunderstand and then overreact. We have a spending problem, and Kav can’t see it. So 20th century.


    • Let us see real cuts everywhere except the classroom and student supports. This would help win back the support of the community.

      I agree, cut back administrative costs. Start with the cost of administering Smarter Balanced.

      Of course, you can cut district administrative costs to zero and people who don’t want to pay for educating all the children will still complain about taxes.

      Sure, cut administrative costs. I am sure some cuts can be found, but the amount saved will not save public education.

      I am not joking when I say that for our least-advantaged students, we need to at least triple what we are spending: Cut class size in half, improve school resources and programs, and provide non-educational social supports.

      The least-advantaged students need to be in classes of twelve or so, with additonal aides and resources. Conversely the most advantaged students (Hello CSW) can thrive in classes of 40. There’s your savings. But we are allocating resources in exactly the opposite direction.


    • Arthur,
      1. Taxed out of our homes – total agree.
      2. Raise on the top 1% – total agree
      3. Make all non free/reduced parents pay $1000 for their child to attend school so that the sports are supported? – total DISagree. Here’s why:

      1. In many districts, you cannot identify who is free/reduced and who isn’t. Community provision now treats many schools as 100% free/reduced. Data collection is on the redux.

      2. In non-cp schools, many families are on the cusp, they aren’t eligible for benefits, but they really can’t afford to exist either.

      3. Not every kids is going to play a sport. I happen to believe that if you want your children to play sports, you should fund it. If you can’t afford it, seek a assistance. Hell, crowd-fund it if you need to. And if you, your school, and your community leagues can’t find the funds, get outside and play sports with your kid yourself.


    • “We have a spending problem”…. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,

      Oh my gosh… Haven’t laughed that hard in years… Tears comin’ out my eyes… Holy Moly…

      No, we have taxing problem… we are taxing the top one percent WAY, TOO, LITTLE…..

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Crowdfunding is an interesting idea, for the coming CSD year. I wonder if some contingent of high school students (and parents?) would be able to successfully kickstart fundraising for a specific middle school or JV sports activity. That may be the kind of effort that’s needed, in the short term. It’s no way to run a railroad, in my opinion–but we’re way beyond best practices at this point.


    • Publius e decere

      Or people could go old school — a core group of volunteers organize a general hat-pass with a 100% participation goal tracked by a hoary tool such as a poster-thermometer on the website and at the school entrance, and in parallel organize a targeted one-on-one private arm-twist aimed at the parents of means. Then organize volunteers who are willing to provide real cost-avoidance efforts by alot of sweat equity and a modest amount of out of pocket expense such as cutting grass, seeding fields, replacing LEDs in the scoreboards, rounding up athletic gear from alums, and rounding up financial contributions from local businesses in exchange for advertising presence at games. Honor the in-lieu-of volunteers and the of-means contributors in a simple recognition and bada-bing you’ve got athletic programs.

      Crowdfunding relies on anonymity and personally-elective decisions. It is OK but not a powerhouse for such a localized need. Old school methods are up close and personal, which — by the way — builds esprit de corp and community. Harder work, but more resilient results.

      from “Publius’ Little Green Book”, open-source edition


    • Short answer Liz, is if we can’t get a referendum passed because people don’t have money to burn, how will you get people to donate what they don’t have? My guess. $1000 could be raised… But you can’t even get that much for the American Diabetes Association from people who have diabetes…


  3. No pay for extra responsibility. Yeah, that makes sense. Hey, if you want to get some parents to volunteer to be coaches, go for it. But have you checked out what a baseball coach earns per hour? Crossing guards earn more money than some EPER rates.


  4. Seriously. What makes sense is to marginalize a higher tax on the top echelons of income and have higher incomes pay higher percentages, and use that $70 million to fill in holes occurring across our school system…

    That $70 million is reoccurring every year too. Who knows? We might be able to even afford soap in our kids bathrooms… 🙂


  5. Linda Calder

    What KAVIPS said in the above post makes me wonder if there would be support for all of the school funding coming from the state through a fair income tax and do away with the school tax portion of the property tax except for business properties. You would no longer need to hold referendums, seniors who want to be able to keep their homes would not have to vote “against kids” because they cannot keep up with rising taxes when they are on a very fixed income. I think that having a higher tax for those earning the most would be the fairest way to proceed. I am new at this and would like to hear what others think.


  6. Linda makes a good point. Christina will have a tough time passing referendums because they continue with the lines of ‘its for the kids’ and when seniors, no child families, single residents complain that they are paying for something they dont use the typical response is ‘well, you need good schools and students who can contribute to the workforce.’ but when you cut teachers and paras first and keep JV sports and other extracurricular activities you have lost support. the continuing wants of the few winning out over the needs of the many has to stop.