I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

How DC Control of Local Districts Acts as a De Facto Tax increase that Limits Minority Participation in Some Extracurricular Activities..

What happens, what are the unintended consequences, when FEDS in DC begin to assert control over areas of local education agencies where the FEDS should have no control?

Answer--lots of bad things.

As I chronicled in a piece published Monday afternoon on, ripples radiate outward exacerbating existing problems in schools, making them worse than ever.

An example is the exorbitant costs borne by parents for their students' participation in most extracurricular sports; now, with new oppressive fundraising mandates being dictated downward, this problem gets worse and precludes participation by lots of poor and minority students.  This results in team sports like soccer, for instance, being weak at schools where the raw talent is ample.  A real life example is one local High School that has a track team that has won several state championships in recent years- yet their soccer team struggles chronically to compete with other area soccer teams and in fact is often-times "mercy-ruled" out of games.  Why?  Because these athletes' parents don't or can't pay for these students' participation in most minor sports like soccer, and therefore when such athletes reach HS where previously there were mechanisms that would allow such students the ability to earn part of their fees to play these minor sports----now this  ability to participate is instead further eroded due to ridiculous fundraising restrictions that we've essentially genuflected and accepted from the FEDS.  And poor students, minorities, and middle class folks get juiced again.

From this article:

"...another problem resulting from these federal machinations in local school district control has silently seeped into our schools.   As a result of the draconian controls placed on local districts by DC politicians and others, including the First Lady,  states were told that, beginning with the first day of school for the current 2014-2015 school year, most snack food fundraisers would be outlawed under the 2010 School Nutrition law. Unless a state specifically requested an exemption, there would no more PTA bake sales, candy bar sales, or cupcakes in classes. It is bad enough that this DC mandate is taking well-enjoyed snack food away from students, but there is additional fallout and unintended consequences becoming apparent as this policy is rolled out.This rule implementation now serves as a de facto tax increase on poor and lower middle-class families that utilize fundraisers to defray the costs for their children’s participation in minor sports. That’s the big problem nobody knows about.  No more candy bar sales to help the students raise money for participation in minor sports like cross-country, tennis, track, and soccer. Students who were used to raising money for their participation by selling a valued commodity in school (candy!) were now told such sales outlawed everywhere on campus all day long.  As a result, the parents are being required to write bigger checks going forward to cover the revenue loss. "

Read  DC school food policies hurt the community by going after snack food fundraisers


Gulagathon said...

This SUCKS. Sports gives kids the opportunity to release built up energy and gives them something to do besides doing unconstructive things like getting into trouble. This is just another obstacle in the world of education that will be another stressor.

Jeff Bergosh said...

it does suck. There is no reason some local schools cannot have better soccer, baseball, wrestling, tennis, and other minor sports teams. They have the raw athletic talent, but minor sports require money, and if it is not self-generating the county will put minimal money into these sports. often, these same schools have populations immersed in poverty, so the parents can't pay either. Allowing the FEDS to unilaterally decide what fundraisers, on our property, they will "accept" severely limits fundraising opportunities and potential---which ends up excluding poor and minority students in some cases, while simultaneously making middle class parents carry more of the load. The level of apathy on this issue is astonishing.

Gulagathon said...

It's like they're trying to keep people in a certain position in life with little hope of escaping their situation, unless they excell academically, and get academic scholarships. This makes it harder for kids who want to stay out of trouble to stay out of it. Even if a kid doesn't get a scholarship, he may just want to play for the fun of it and to stay busy. The more kids are busy, the less chance there will be teenage pregnancies and violence, hopefully at least.

I wish there was a wrestling team at my high school when I was a kid. I wasn't into other sports, wrestling was my thing.