MPS looks for cost-savings in jr. high athletics | News
MONTGOMERY, AL- The Montgomery County Board of Education announced Tuesday that it will explore a cost-saving option it believes will save the district's middle school athletics program more than $145,000 for the 2012-2013 school year.
Superintendent Barbara Thompson and Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Support Lewis Washington outlined the benefits of the option during a special called board meeting.
The plan includes consolidation of coaching positions, reduction of transportation costs, making the student participation fee consistent across schools, and eliminating golf as a competitive sport.
For the 2011-2012 year, the district spent more than $416,000 for salaries and benefits, transportation, equipment and supply costs associated with middle school athletics. Under the new option, 2012-2013 costs are projected at $271,523, or a cut of 35 percent.
"We are considering reducing the number of soccer coaches by one, and would eliminate golf as a competitive sport, which would provide an annual savings of about $67,000," said Washington. "We would still offer golf instruction as part of the physical education classes, and middle school students interested in golf would be given the option to "play-up" on the high school level."
Washington said the option also includes a modest $15 increase in the student participation fee from $35 to $50. The move establishes a consistent student participation fee for athletics and is expected to generate $55,000 in additional revenue to support middle school athletics. The plan also requires coaches to become licensed to transport students to games and would change the start times for basketball and football contests.
"By changing game times and requiring our coaches to obtain a CDL license, we will reduce our transportation costs by $13,000 and eliminate the need for additional drivers," he said.
Superintendent Thompson said the option has additional benefits as well.
"Scheduling the football games on Saturday mornings will hopefully attract more families and the community to our games. That keeps parents and the community involved and also helps generate additional revenue from ticket sales and concessions."
MPS currently receives $416,996 from the city of Montgomery to fund middle school athletics, but that funding is not guaranteed, said Thompson.
She said school staff has worked very hard to find solutions that will keep middle school athletics viable.
"For the past several months we've looked at a number of ways to sustain our middle school athletics while balancing our budget priorities," added Thompson.
"For now, this cost-saving option gives us the flexibility we'll need in the event we lose funding or are faced with additional proration."
INFORMATION SOURCE: Montgomery Public Schools