Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

October 15, 2012

CONFER: Cut school sports -- for philosophical reasons

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — What makes this especially confounding is the fact that parents with school-aged kids (the most powerful voting bloc in school board elections and budget votes) think it’s the obligation of the masses to pay for their children’s hobbies. A boy’s interest in football and a girl’s love for field hockey are no different than others’ appreciation for, say, Scouting and horses. Why should taxpayers be forced to pay for sports – enjoyed by a very small minority of the student body – when they aren’t forced to pay for a Boy Scout’s trip to the Jamboree or a young lady’s participation in equestrian competition? You see, it’s ridiculous to even ponder publically-funding the latter set of circumstances, so why should it not be the same for the former? Consider that a money-poor taxpayer could lose his home for not paying for some boy’s baseball uniform or a girl’s basketball. How is that even remotely right?

Sports should be full-funded by the participants. It should be the obligation of the children and/or their parents to pay for all costs associated with their hobbies. You would expect the same if a kid is in scouts or little league baseball, plays video games, or hunts and fishes. Those families and, where applicable, their respective organizations make it happen. The parents might have to give up on a little bit of their interests to fund that of their kids, or the children may have to go out and mow some lawns or get a job. They might all have to get together and creatively put together some fundraising endeavors and events. My default example for this is always the Royalton-Hartland Sports Boosters Club. Faced with the total elimination of football a few years back, those great souls brought it back, fully-funded by their efforts. They found that those who can’t give couldn’t, but those who could, would give in spades. They made it work in a small community with a very limited business base. With equal efforts in similar and larger districts, other schools could easily fund their sports by benevolence and not by force.

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