Arizona budget cuts leave parents to pay for athletics

By Trisha Garcia | Dec. 8, 2015

Public schools in the state of Arizona are grappling with severe budget cuts and athletic programs feel the effects of the state’s diminishing funds.

The lack of funding forces schools to determine how to financially support all of the different high school sports with varying costs, a decision that normally leads to out-of-pocket costs for parents.

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Budget cuts in the state of Arizona are restricting the amount of money that districts such as Tempe Union can allocate to school-sponsored athletics.

Booster club support is the difference between parents paying $300 for football camp costs and upward of $1,000 for cheerleading expenses.

The out-of-pocket costs can keep low-income students from playing sports or participating in extracurricular activities.

Social settings provided by sports and other extracurricular activities are vital for students.

Isaac Daniels, a varsity football player McClintock High School, has high-functioning autism and only feels equal to his classmates when they are on the field together.

But, there are policy discrepancies in fee requirements at the high school level, where district policy requires an activity fee $50 per student-athlete.

Team expenses differ at each school, but cheerleading expenses show that athletes have to pay coaching stipend fees out-of-pocket and the basketball team budget reveal that boosters are buying team uniforms against district policy.

Tempe Union High School District has a $50 activity fee for athletes, but national research and Tempe team websites suggest that out-of-pocket costs for student-athletes are much higher.

Copy Editor | Selena Makrides

Media Editor | Katherine Fitzgerald

Graphic & Web Editor | Trisha Garcia

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