Certain sports could lose all school funding

May 20, 2011 3:59:34 PM PDT
You've heard it a lot lately -- school districts across our state are making tough decisions in a tough economy. Now budget cuts are hitting another local school district, and parents are not happy. The target of these cuts is athletics. A proposal would cut funding for certain sports at Friendswood ISD.

The superintendent says this school district is nickel and diming it right now. She says it just doesn't have the money to continue supporting some sports programs.

Around Friendswood ISD, parents like Marie Tkac say sporting events bring the community together. Her son is on the football team.

"Programs like that, parents rely on that," she said.

But now a big budget blow has the Friendswood school board considering $40,000 worth of cuts in the athletics department, among other areas.

Tkac said, "I think that would be a big mistake."

I found out about 150 to 200 students in this district participate in non-university interscholastic league sanctioned sports. The superintendent told me this district is too broke to support lacrosse, swimming and gymnastics.

The board is also looking at possibly slashing funding for co-ed soccer at the junior high, as well as high school water polo. But the superintendent says those teams would continue using the facility.

"It's going to make a big difference," Tkac said. "It's going to be a negative effect, unfortunately."

Board members say with a $4 million budget deficit looming, they just don't think they'll have the money to pay non-UIL coach stipends, team travel to games and entry fees.

They say the athletic director is also proposing $11,000 in cuts for his UIL football team. That has Christopher Tkac concerned.

"I would think it would be a decrease in quite acceptable rated equipment, which would probably take an impact," he said.

Board members say the athletic director is also proposing his UIL teams limit the amount of tournaments outside the area to save money on travel.

The board is also considering major cuts in other areas as well.


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