There have been budget cuts across the board at our schools, and that's been affecting many programs - sports being one of them. In part four of our special four-part series, "The Game Plan," we'll take a look at the situation and how it may be affecting the upcoming fall season. That's our subject in today's State of Education.
Within all the school districts across New York State, 93 percent passed their annual budget. A surprisingly high number, but this doesn't automatically mean it's good news for all.
"Even though those budgets passed, those budgets reflect a significant reduction of programs and sometimes cutting sports for the school," said Nina Van Erk, the Executive Director for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. She said that although some sport programs may be on the chopping block, they're beneficial for students both on and off the field.
"It helps to keep them focused and on track, it really provides them with a great motivation to not only do well academically but to be good citizens as well," said Van Erk.
Some schools have reported they are not cutting any of their sports programs, while others have cut, for example, freshmen basketball. You could say this can create a "scheduling conflict."
"Some schools will cut programs that are not as popular or important in their local community, but if they are in the same league with another school that really emphasizes those programs, they will be really filling the gaps in those schedules," said Van Erk.
But when it comes to cuts, some sports might be safer than others.
"The traditional sports - the baseball, football, basketball sports - are probably the safest sports because they're the ones that are in the public eye and have more notoriety than the other sports," said Dave Bochette, a retired coach and sports administrator.