Thursday, April 23, 2009

Student activity fee is back on the table

The NHRs Luther Turmelle reports on the discussion regarding the reinstatement of the student activity fee.

Tim White


Breachway said...

I can tell you Tim that participating in a high school sport can be costly enough already without a $75 fee. How many people are going to get up in front of this crowd of people and say they can't afford it....that would be un-Cheshire like. No doubt that the majority of families can probably swing it,mine included, but what about the 2 or 3 kids on each program that can barely pay the costs already associated with their sport- uniforms, sweats, team dues, food money for all away games,athletic shoes, camps, off season camps/leagues. There are kids that sell candy to their friends or in the hallways to help offset these costs. You also have kids that are working to help offset some of these costs- which is a good thing, but wouldn't it be better if they could play sports all 3 seasons like they want to-- or saving that money for college? There are kids who are on the varsity team a few years but can't afford the team camp or some of the off season leagues all the teamates play in. I know these extras are of no concern to the tax payer- but tell your daughter or son that they can't go to camp with the team because you just can't afford it, or they will be the only ones without sweats because you can't afford happens and it is sad that the kids are put into this situation....especially in Cheshire. If they want to help the family that can't afford some of these costs, then have the AD or someone else take a look at the "sport accounts" they have and make sure that the kids are only being required to get what is really needed...some of the coaches go a little overboard.

Anonymous said...

Breachway is right....the costs can go overboard.
Its time for parents to put their foot down and stop funding expensive extras like "practice jerseys" (what's wrong with old tees and sweats), team jackets that change every year so kids have to spill big bucks to "fit in", team banquests at the Aqua Turf, etc etc etc.
Kids and their parents have NO CLUE about the college and life start-up expenses that these kids will face. The runaway materialistic fantasy world that exists in Cheshire is a disgrace....but few people have the cajones to stand up and say so.
By the way, speaking of cajones, did any parent get up at this meeting and ask where the teachers' union rep was? Maybe the union could at least donate some of their dues to help "the children" since they won't compromise on their raises.

Anonymous said...

Talk to parents who have kids in the Marching BAnd and/or Colorguard. Marching Band membership "dues" were $250 a few years ago alone. Colorguard/Winterguard parents for the 2009 Winter season just ending paid $2500.00 (not a misprint)for their participation.
Comments about college costs are correct--they are a killer. Financial aid is drying up--lots of people are in for a shock when their kids start applying to $30K-$40K schools...

Anonymous said...

If the superintendent is saying that the only choice is to either institute a participation fee or cut a few sports programs, I feel he is misleading many parents.

The participation fee only raises about $100,000 - the super needs to make a lot more adjustment in the budget to make up the $1.1 million the boe cut.

Maybe instead of the parents agreeing to pay the fee, they should be asking for:
1. Cut out all cell phone usage.
2. Reduce travel/conferences
3. Consider consolidating Darcy or Chapman into the other schools (shutting down 1 bldg. should save $$$) Enrollment is way down so the other schools should be able to absord 300 or so kids. Highland is down more than 70 kids.
4. Parents should ask teachers to concede part of their raises since "it's all about the kids."
5. Coaches stipends could be cut - they'll coach anyway most likely.

Don't just agree to a fee without questioning other expenditures!!!

Robert DeVylder Jr. said...

I was wondering where the gate money from the sporting events goes? Is the money I pay to watch a high school football game going to the expenses of the facility or are they going into a general fund?

There is no reason to have a sports banquet every season. Triffone should make it an event that the best athletes can attend. Only have a banquet if a team wins a championship. Multiple championships, 1 banquet. Did the UConn Mens b-ball team get a parade? No, but the girls did for excelling in their sport.

As far as cell phones go, the town pays way less than the average citizen for cellular service. Every phone company has special municipal rates that are about half of what John Q. Public pays. After a tragidy like Columbine, I have no problem with administrators having cell phones in school.

Also, I want to know exactly why there is a problem with people going to specialized training to do their jobs better? In times like these, why are we telling administrators from the town and board of ed not to go learn how to make a buck go farther, or new thoughts to avoid layoffs. We need to allow personal the oppritunity to HELP our town, not shelter them away in a closet and hope our problems go away.

Bill said...

The sports are not a required educational program. The State requires recess, not football. All sports are an extra-curricular program. The last time the pay to play occurred the Supt raised 109k for Dodd and CHS sports and that paid the bill. There can be a debate as to the value of a sports program and there should be but that does not mean every tax payer should fund it. I would rather pay the fee to play because when my kids is released from the local nuthouse called CHS the fee would go away. I can easily support a sport my child would like to participate in, I find it repulsive to be forced to pay for sports across the board.

Anonymous said...

I love when the parents complain that the government isn't listening to them because they cut the BOE budget. Do they even have a clue? I think many don't.
I am a parent as well, but I also understand that we can't continue to raise taxes like they did this year. It is bad enough that my taxes are going up close to $300 this year alone. I would rather pay the fees where I have to to allow my child to particpate in thes extracurricular activities.
Maybe the town government is listening to the majority when we say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

Anonymous said...

"Colorguard/Winterguard parents for the 2009 Winter season just ending paid $2500.00 (not a misprint)for their participation."WHAT?? THAT IS INSANE!
That is where the superindendent should step in and put a stop to the ridiculous spending.
What if a family couldn't afford it??Are they not allowed to carry a flag anymore?

Anonymous said...

6:39 The "gate money" goes to the Booster Club as far as I know. Supposedly they use it for the trophies that the athletes get and I'm not sure what else.
Would be interesting to know the total "gate money" collected for all sports over at CHS.

Anonymous said...

The Waterbury paper reports that Wolcott has imposed an across the board furlough day for all employees including teachers (teachers there work more than 180 days so they're giving up 1 of those days). The savings is near to $100,000 for that 1 unpaid day. Also, the municipal employees have given up there raises for the coming year.

If Cheshire did something similar to this (although I'm told our teachers only teach 180 days so you can't go less than that)maybe we could solve some of these budget issues. If they would only concede something, we might not even be talking about this activity fee or program cuts.

I hope the parents who so eagerly agree to pay fees will realize that this could all be avoided if there were across the board concessions.

So who's to blame??

Anonymous said...

Oh the poor children. Why did the mean taxpayers push for a cut in the school budget? The taxpayers should realize that the %4.3 raises for the teachers is necessary to keep them happy and prosperous. If the teachers are not happy, who know what could happen.

Parents should stop whining and open their purses to pay for all extra curricular activites.

Remember, we don't want to make the teachers unhappy. Don't ask them to give up anything like pay increases, benefits, educational junkets or anything else. Remember teachers are special, even when others are being laid off, losing their houses or all those other things that happen to thos people

Anonymous said...

Solution - Cancel all sports and activities. Nobody will have to pay a fee, School system will be less attractive to people moving in, will not need as many teachers, will not have to provide as many services as there will be less residents.

Anonymous said...

Why should the "Booster Club" get the gate money?

Do they take care of the fields??

I would rather seeit being re-invested in the athletic teams instead of trophies..etc.

Anonymous said...

Well lets some perspective here. There are 260 possible work days in ayear for those who work 5 day weeks. In my case I have 28 paid days off, plus 6 holidays. So I really work 226 days. I dont do any work before or after work per say, nor do I do any prep work before school. I estimate that is worth roughly another 16-20 teacher likely work about 200 days.

Generally speaking the idea that they work far fewer days than the average works isnt correct. Nor is the average worker required to obtain a masters degree. So lets at least put this nonsense about teaching not working a full year behind us. They put in as much time as the rest of us poor schnooks do. Just consider salaries and benefits on the basis of experience, education and the importance of whatever role they play. I think its fair to say that a starting teacher with a BS should earn around $40K, starting with a masters probably another $5-8K. And over the course of their career, should see normal increases average 3-5 percent given economics and merit.

Thats where should be and how we should evaluate teacher pay, not based upon some biased misconceptions...