Hanover students may have to pay to play

Posted at 7:50 AM, Feb 01, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-01 11:25:59-05

HANOVER COUNTY, Va (WTVR) -- Sports and music, for  a lot of parents are considered an important part of a child's education.  But in Hanover's school district parents could be paying a lot more for their children to take part in those activities.

According to the Richmond Times Dispatch, pay to play is one option the Hanover superintendent is proposing to close a $5.4 million funding gap--while avoiding having to cut as many as 24 teaching positions.  The fees could cover everything from sports equipment to other extracurricular activities.

Schyler Neale, a senior at Patrick Henry High School told CBS 6 last week, whatever decision the school board makes now could have serious consequences on her future.

"I play three sports and with the budget cuts, if the sports become pay to play I wouldn't be able to do any of them," Neale said.  "I'm looking at sports to get me into college."

Charles Gauntt, a Hanover parent, said he hopes the school board will consider every possible option before charging students a fee to participate in various school activities.

"Don't forget some of the really important extracurriculars, beyond just the core academic classes you have to have," Gauntt said.  "So when you are making the cuts be careful and look carefully at what needs to be done."

A recent report said the student fees could cut about $940,000 in general funds, proposed to be spent on athletics alone next year.  The superintendents plan will be voted on later this spring.