District wants to maintain pay-to-play

The Warren County School District is exploring ways to keep pay-to-play fees flat for athletes and families for the upcoming 2013-2014 school year.

Board member Tom Knapp noted that fixed costs for athletics are projected to rise $23,618 in the upcoming school year “and that does not include increased cost in transportation which is $.10 per mile.”

Athletic funding was discussed during the Personnel/Athletics & Co-Curricular Committee meeting held on Monday night at the Warren County Career Center.

Transportation Manager Mike Kiehl said that the negotiated rate for co-curricular with the bus contractors will rise from $2.91 to $3.01 per mile next year.

Knapp asked that a motion be included for a special meeting scheduled for July 29 to increase athletic budgets to cover the increased costs, which include costs for salaries and benefits.

An estimate on the increased cost of transportation will be provided before the July meeting.

“We really have two ways of going about it,” Acting Superintendent Amy Stewart said. She explained that the district could fund those increases from district contingency or fund balance.

District Athletic Coordinator Jim Miller said the funding formula for athletics is “slightly” different from the model for the 2012-2013 school year which allocated funding based on participation. He noted that less funding will be allocated to central office with “more (going) to the buildings than they got last year. Each school gets more. It’s a small increase.” He estimated the increase to each school at approximately $600 to $700.

“You already built formulas and are in gear with these increases factored in,” Stewart said.

Board member John Grant said that he is “interested in supporting this idea because we voted not to have a tax increase to the school district. (These) added costs are like a tax increase.” He recommended that the funding come out of the district’s contingency accounts.

Currently, families must pay $50 to the district for a student to participate in a sport.

Board member Jack Werner said that this effort would “freeze that instead of increasing the cost to the students and family.”