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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

It's fashionable for SCHOOLS to DOUBLE-CHARGE for stuff, but...........

Sherry and I went to see her granddaughter play 7th grade basketball at my local middle school. I was a bit taken aback when we were charged $4 apiece to get in. They used to charge a buck or two (bad enough), but it has doubled in the past year or so. Sherry says her school charges her grandsons $85 to start wrestling and another $15 per-match to participate in the events. We all know that school supplies, like a half-dozen boxes of kleenex or enough pencils for 5 other kids, etc. are already required for each kid at the start of the year.

It may seem heresy to some folks (or a bit libertarian), but I figure I get a season pass when I pay the lion's share of my property taxes to support the school district (see the green part on my current tax bill for 2013). So what can the schools' rationale be? Let's see..........

1) Sports are a good thing for kids. Kids who participate in sports do better in school and sports helps them learn values, like sportsmanship and fair play. Sports participation also contributes to better health for kids. Answer 1: This is all great, but isn't that what schools are supposed to do anyway with the money they already get from taxpayers?

2) The extra money is needed for senior trips and other things. Answer 2: I am sure that if they had a voluntary donation box at the door that district patrons would contribute without the coercion.

3) We just don't have enough money to do these good things for kids, so we feel you should pay a little more to see your kids play sports. We daren't ask for a levy increase in a bad economy because we know our patrons can't afford it right now. Answer 3: If there's not enough money in the current levy to do what schools should be doing, put a levy increase on the ballot and let the voters decide the matter. Also, see answer 1.

We all need good schools, fire protection, roads and the other things property taxes go for. Inter- & intra-mural sports are good for children and are an integral part of good schooling since the one-room schoolhouse became passe. Attending their kids' sports events is not something schools should dun their patrons for on a per-head/per-event calculus.

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