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FOOTBALL: What are districts’ spending priorities?

Letter by Marjorie A. Ray, Lakewood on Sep. 6, 2011 at 1:54 pm with 8 Comments »
September 6, 2011 2:38 pm

Re: “Bethel rallies but falls short in Texas heat” (TNT, 9-3).

Apparently, Bethel High School in Pierce County went to Odessa, Texas, to play the game.

Can someone explain to me why – in the midst of our severe economic crisis, when state programs for the elderly and disabled and money for education is being cut – can a high school send a team, coaches and who knows how many other people to Texas to play a meaningless football game?

Now, I am not picking on Bethel. A more complete scan of the high school football schedule reveals that we also have schools going to California, Oregon, Idaho and Canada to play.

I love high school sports. In fact, our daughter played varsity basketball for three years, which had a huge impact on keeping her in school at the time. I am, however, at a loss to figure out how this happens today, when there just plain is not enough money to cover essentials.

As taxpayers, we need to ask the school districts how they determine priorities and who decides that an out-of-state pigskin field trip is warranted when good teachers are getting pink slips.

Leave a comment Comments → 8
  1. KARDNOS says:

    From the (Eatonville Wa) DISPATCH –

    “The Bethel High School football team will be traveling next September to play the renowned Permian Panthers of Odessa, Texas. The Bethel School Board authorized the trip at its meeting last week, and now the players and their supporters have to raise about $12,000 for the traveling expenses which, in turn, will be matched by Permian High School boosters.”

  2. alindasue says:

    KARDNOS said, “From the (Eatonville Wa) DISPATCH – …”

    Yup. That’s why all those kids are showing up on our doorsteps and at store entrances selling candy, wrapping paper, etc.. That’s why we see teens on the side of the road waving “Car Wash” signs.

    The schools don’t pay for these programs. The students, their parents, and supporters do. It was that way when I was a kid. It’s even more that way now.

  3. More power to’em!

  4. KARDNOS says:

    alindasue…..kinda interesting that Permian is matching the $12K…..

  5. Marjorie: they are correct, the players found a way to pay for themselves. Permian donated 10K to the cause. They do this because each home game they play they draw between 10 and 14 thousand people to the game.

  6. commoncents says:

    which is exactly why it was a home and home series and not a home and away.

  7. BETHELPARENT says:

    Marjorie,

    The district did not fund the trip. Our boys did the following to raise money for this trip and worked very hard at it.
    1. Sent out donation letters to friends and family
    2. Raised money by selling discount cards at local Fred Meyer stores and on their own
    3. Did numerous kids night out dances at the High School
    4. We as parents had to also write a check to the football team to help cover some of the costs. Those of us parents who chose to go had to also pay for that ourselves so to say “who knows how many other people” well you are wrong in that statement because it was simply the team that was covered with all the fundraising that was done.

    To also cut corners the boys were flown into Dallas and had to make a 5 hour school bus ride to Odessa which the Ector School District provided.

    The football coaches and the president of our booster club worked their hardest to ensure the trip was cost effective and it is a memory that our boys will treaure forever.

    As far as it being a meaningless trip that is far from the truth and I am sure you wouldnt have appreciated that comment when your daughter played basketball for 3 years!! Remember Marjorie these are all children of parents just like yourself so to make any part of it meaningless is unwarranted.

    Thank you

  8. raindemon says:

    In defense of my mother, the original article did not explain how this trip was funded, but from the tone and the phrasing it made it pretty easy to leap to the conclusion she did. I am happy that everyone has explained the “facts”. Something that the TNT fails to do, in many occasions. My mother has raised two great kids who were taught to question everything, and in today’s times I am glad she did. In this actual case, she was incorrect in blaming the Bethel school district, but you cannot honestly tell me that there are not other areas that her logic and argument directly apply to. My entire family is involved in health care and veteran’s benefits. We are all tired of money being wasted and seeing essential programs fall by the wayside. So again, thank you for setting us straight on the facts of this specific case, but the underlying message is still valid.

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