Philadelphia schools looking at sports and other options for budget cuts

The Philadelphia School District’s budget woes are getting worse and it’s exploring lots of ways to reduce costs.  The District could cut instrumental music, gifted programs, or even sports.Schools across the country wrestling with tight budgets have considered cutting sports.Tampa Bay Times’ Preps Columnist John Cotey wrote a piece in March titled: “A world without high school sports might be closer than you think.”  He said for one Ohio school, getting rid of sports and other extracurricular activities had broader effects.”It changed it really for the worse according to the Athletic Director right after school there was no reason to stick around,” said Cotey.  “Kids went home, there was nothing to look forward to.  He told me it just sucked the life out of the entire community.”Pennsylvania School Boards Association Senior Research Associate Todd Hosterman said many districts have explored cutting back on sports or consolidating them across districts.  “For legal purposes, Pennsylvania and most other states do not regard athletics, band, student government, as part of a guaranteed public education,” said Hosterman.  “So that leaves the option open to school officials of charging fees for these sorts of things.”Hosterman said a 2010 survey of 180 public and private school districts across Pennsylvania showed that 22 public districts and 7 private schools charge students to play sports.  Public school athletic fees ran from $5 to $50 while at private schools they ranged from $70 to $300.

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