Survey shows strong backing for East Grand schools sports programs
April 30, 2010
GRANBY – Almost 87 percent of 672 respondents said school sports are important to the overall educational experience, according to a school athletics and activities survey, the results of which were presented at the April 20 East Grand Board of Education meeting.
As many as 385 of those respondents were students, according to the District Accountability Committee on athletics and activities, which conducted the survey.
Asked how sports should be funded following heavy budget cuts poised to eliminate some sports funding in upcoming years, 78 percent of parents opted for an increase in participation fees. Meanwhile, 53 percent of students chose private sponsorships of sports as the preferred solution.
The majority of respondents said sports should be transferred to local recreation departments and private sports clubs if athletics and activities are reduced through the school district.
The “overall quality of student experience” in a particular sports program was deemed the most important criteria for keeping a school district sport, according to survey takers.
“From the survey results, it’s apparent that any decision regarding elimination of any activity program will be a political battlefield,” reads a memo to school board members from the DAC subcommittee. “This is the most visible display of student performance and engagement we have in the community, and as such, there are many passionate advocates on many different sides.”
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For this reason, the committee did not make specific recommendations on which sports would face the chopping block come budget-decision time, but did recommend that school officials create a policy for eliminating a sport or activity, just as the district has a policy for adding a sport.
The subcommittee also suggested that school officials, through a new committee, establish criteria for funded and non-funded district activities, establish a timeline for notification about an activity facing cuts, and review district policy on activity fundraising.
The activities and athletics subcommittee of the District Accountability Committee has resolved to continue its involvement on the issue through the summer.