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High-school fees are basically unfair
It's a shame that Greg Hart feels that charging different participation fees for music and sports would be "too hard to manage." Proper management is just what those of us who will be forced to pay the fees expect.
One of the main justifications for the additional fee of $75 per student is the cost of transportation. However, your article mentions that band and choir students travel to three music festivals a year and the football team has about 15 away games a year. How does Mr. Hart, or the school board, justify this discrepancy?
Is it not enough that the new stadium, gym expansion, tennis court upgrades, new track and other improvements for the sports department are costing the taxpayers of this district $15 million? Must the parents of band and choir students (of which I have two) foot the bill for the athletic department as well? Given the poor state of the band and choir facilities, and the fact that the band students must purchase their own instruments, and the fact that the choir participants must pay for their robes, I am truly astounded at the questionable logic behind Mr. Hart's policy.
Further insult is added to injury when it turns out that the money will go into one general pool for extracurricular activities. Why not separate pools for the band and choir programs to ensure those programs get what they need? Unlike the sports teams, the music department does not have the added revenue from ticket sales, ASB funds, or taxpayer bonds to supplement the budget. Considering the fact that band and choir are accredited coursework and the classes are held during the school day, it seems unfair for a student to pay a steep participation fee for a class that contributes to their GPA. Isn't education the priority for the Snoqualmie Valley School District?
If the taxpayers of this district are going to see fair acquisition and distribution of funds for the programs in question, it probably would serve us all better if the athletic director was not the one writing the policy.
For those of us bearing the weight of what Mr. Hart calls the "inevitable," this brilliant new funding plan smacks of favoritism for sports to the detriment of music and is patently unfair.