Tough economic times has everyone taking a look at priorities and cutting out non- essentials And this includes some school districts.
Many school districts are taking a look at what they can cut back on, including school sports. Locally, school sports programs aren’t in danger, but that doesn't mean that cannot change. School officials say they are monitoring the program closely and shockingly enough gas prices are a major factor in that.
"The rise in transportation costs have had a dramatic impact throughout the state," says
Paul Cain, Athletic Director for School District 51. Cain says that many districts on the Front Range are being forced to cut more than players from the teams, sometimes the sport itself.
Because of the rapid growth in the Grand Valley, school sports programs are not suffering and they are actually adding sports like lacrosse to the line-up. But students may see that their $70 fee that they pay for each sport rise.
"It doesn't come close to covering our cost, but it helps supplement our budget to cover transportation, coaches, salaries, officials and all that," Says Cain.
Cain says a mere one percent of the District’s budget goes to sports programs, which means they'll be scrutinizing its budget even more than their opponents.
"When we can play local, we cut down on transportation costs. But we still have obligations to the league and to the state."
Cain says a student athlete's experience is priceless.
"Athletics is the best intervention that we have. Its money well spent."