Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Irate Parent Ploy

Joanne Jacobs has a post on sports in high school. While the point is improving leadership skills, I am driven to respond to the other issue that will come up more often in the next few years: threatening to cut sports and after school activities due to budget constraints.

It always amazes me that there are no inefficiencies in school districts since this is never a part of these budget cut discussions. The “cutting sports and after school activities” ploy is used by many superintendents as a great way to get parents totally up in arms and protesting to the county for more money for schools. Since the parents of the kids that participate in these activities are usually pretty involved, the supe can get the response they need to get more money for the district.

In Loudoun County, where we live, they are going to charge $100 per student to participate in sports next year to make ends meet. I have no problem paying since that investment is certainly well worth that price. And if students can’t afford it, they will bring back fundraisers and have a hardship process.

In the mean time, every business in America that wants to survive this recession will have done a total review of all spending and make the sharp cuts necessary to increase efficiency. Is it too much to ask for school districts to actually analyze their budgets and find efficiencies instead of using the irate parent ploy?

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