Athletics were a major topic of discussion at Thursday night's budget workshop at Beach Street Middle School, as dozens of parents concerned about further cuts to the district's sports programs came out for the presentation.
During his slide show, Athletic Director Tim Horan said he looked for ways to stretch every dollar while preparing the proposed budget, while also preserving the district's current sports programs as well as drug and alcohol prevention initiatives.
"We can't leave any stone unturned," he said. "We've been trying to find a way to do more with less."
Horan's proposed insterscholastic athletic budget of $925,191 is down 3 percent from the current budget of $952,444. The savings are a result of a combination of competitive bidding and a reduction in spending on items such as uniforms and the elimination of an outdated telephone system, he said.
When asked by a parent in the audience if middle school and junior varsity sports were , Board President Steve Gellar said both levels will remain in place.
"The Board made it very clear during the first budget meeting that we have no interest in cutting middle school sports," he said, adding that junior varsity leagues at the high school are also safe.
Horan stressed the importance of maintaining the variety of athletic programs in the district, saying the impact on students' lives extends beyond what occurs on the field.
"It's more about who [the kids] are and what they're going to be than it is about wins and losses," he said. "Obviously there's a price to pay for running a large interscholastic athletics program, but I believe there's a much larger price for not running a large interscholastic athletics program."
The athletics expenses listed by Horan are:
- athletic trainer: $24,521
- additional teacher salaries (coaches, timekeepers, etc.): $658,190
- professional development: $2,000
- mandated equipment recertification and conditioning: $28,000
- membership dues: $23,996
- professional and technical fees (officials fees, entry fees, etc.): $112,915
- general supplies (equipment for all teams, first aid, etc.): $38,987
- uniforms: $25,410
The next budget workshop is scheduled for Thursday, March 29, 7:30 p.m. at .