Community fights for sports
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Superintendent Dr. Bill Heidenreich explained that the reason he chose the three sports to cut was because the per-athlete costs are among the highest in the district. The rifle range, he noted, must undergo a lead abatement every few years to meet health and safety standards, and that costs $100,000.
Heidenreich said that for years the district trimmed sports without actually cutting any teams. Teams were combined and assistant coaches were eliminated at all levels but varsity in an effort to control costs while preserving opportunities for students. “All along,” he said, “it was a trimming around the edges, let’s preserve the program.”
The preliminary budget, Heidenreich said, spreads the pain around. Fifteen full-time teaching positions would be cut, including at least one in every major subject area, along with several support staff positions. He explained that, given a choice between cutting sports and increasing class sizes, he choses the option that would have the smallest impact on academics.
Iadevaio said that board members have and would continue to lobby state and federal representatives for more money, and he hopes state aid will come in higher than the governor’s original proposal.
Board members will continue to discuss the budget at upcoming meetings, and will likely adopt a proposed spending plan at either the March business meeting or the April committee meeting.