At a special meet held last week, the Boardman Board of Education for the first time in its history voted to require student-athletes in high school and middle school to pay a ‘fee’ to participate in sports.
Want to play football, basketball, wrestle or run track and field in high school?
All high school athletes will now have to pay a $50 ‘fee.’ In the middle schools, the fee will be $25/sport.
The new fee policy will begin with the 2011-12 school year.
Boardman Local School Supt. Frank Lazzeri said this week the ‘fee’ is not the same as so-called ‘pay to play.’
“School districts that have a pay to play policy require hundreds of dollars to play in each sport,” the superintendent said.
Mr. Lazzeri said the policy was instituted to help offset cost overruns of some $50,000 a year in the sports budget of the Boardman Local Schools.
“Every year the athletic department exceed their budget and we have to use general fund monies to subsidize our sports programs,” the superintendent said, adding the cost overruns have been an on-going issue since “well before we ever joined the Federal League (seven years ago).”
Mr. Lazzeri said the sports fee is not much different than fees students pay for other activities like arts programs, industrial arts and academic course fees.