State of Education: The Game Plan Part 2
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These days, it's a whole different playing field with sports in schools, especially when many programs are getting benched due to lack of funds. Dave Bochette is a retired teacher, coach and sports administrator. He said in his experience, this problem is growing.
Bochette said, "From time to time, each school district has had their difficulties and everybody had their problems, but I think it's a little more widespread right now."
And the numbers show it. For example, Syracuse schools are facing are facing a 20 percent cut in the athletics budget for the city school district, and for baseball, many teams will shorten their season from 20 games to 24. Some are eliminating programs altogether.
Bochette said, "I think a lot of districts are having a tendency to just make cuts to say they're making cuts, and by cutting the lower level programs it's going to eventually tell its tale on the upper level programs."
Many schools, with a large amount coming out of New York State, have either cut, or are considering cutting, freshmen sports. But how does that affect the student athlete when they want to go for the varsity level?
Bochette said, "In public education what we're trying to do is give people an opportunity to have a wide range of experiences, and that's also true in athletics. If they don't get the opportunity to try a sport, they're not going to know whether they want to pursue it."
But what about alternatives? If some sport programs are cut, there are some outside sports leagues available. But with traveling and other expenses, is this a good call?
Bochette said, "You're spending thousands of dollars allowing children to pursue a passion. It could be hundreds of dollars in school taxes, but thousands out of your individual pocket."
So there will surely be more ideas pitched here in our schools.