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Pay to play: Surcharges considered on top of Janesville school sports fees

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
April 25, 2011
— Families whose kids play sports in the Janesville middle and high schools will likely have to pay a lot more for the privilege starting next fall.

Playing high school football would cost $140 next year, instead of this year’s $50-per-sport fee.


The school board has already approved increasing the per-sport fee from $50 to $75. The board Tuesday will hear proposals to add on a variety of surcharges for equipment and for using nondistrict facilities, such as golf courses and ice rinks.


A high school football player’s family would have to pay both the $75 base fee and $65 for helmet reconditioning, for a total of $140.


Hockey players would take the biggest hit. Both boys and girls would pay $600 plus the $75 athletics fee.


Fees would be instituted at the middle schools for the first time: $30 per student, not counting the surcharges that would be similar but lower than at the high schools.


Beloit middle school players pay $42 per sport, but the third sport is free, according to information supplied to the school board in advance of Tuesday’s meeting.


Other budget proposals and more details:


-- Cut 29 of the 83 middle school coaches, saving $68,000. There was no mention in the documents of how coaches will manage with a 35 percent reduction in coaching staff.


-- Middle school football, an additional $30 fee for helmet reconditioning, for a $60 total.


-- Middle school golf, an additional $90 surcharge, $120 total.


-- Eliminate middle school intramurals, saving $16,000.


-- Increase high school student season athletics pass from $20 to $30.


-- Require girls hockey players to provide their own transportation, saving $1,700.


-- High school baseball and softball players, a $23 surcharge for diamond use. Combined with the $75 base fee, that’s $98 total.


-- High school golf, a $150 surcharge for course use plus the $75, for a total of $225.


Low-income high school students would continue to get a break. Families that qualify for reduced-price lunch would pay 20 percent of the total cost. Families that qualify for free lunch would pay no fee.


The middle school base fee would be $15 for low-income families instead of $30.


Officials estimate 1,200 middle-schoolers play interscholastic sports, while 1,330 do so at the high schools. Together, they account for about 15 percent of total district enrollment.


The high school proposals, combined with changes previously approved by the school board, would improve the district budget by about $224,000 in the coming year.


The middle school proposals would do the same to the tune of $120,000.



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