Athletics and sports in general play a huge factor in students experience throughout their educational journeys. In elementary school, children learn about different sports in their P.E. classes and have the chance to discover a new activity. In middle school, kids begin to focus on specific sports and form meaningful relationships with their teammates. On the high schools level, sports are an opportunity for teenagers to go onto college and can even become their ticket towards success on the professional level. Along with these benefits, sports provide important life lessons, amazing work ethics, and professional development skills for all everyone involved. Why then is this significant aspect of many students’ lives being put in danger?
According to CNBC, "As budgets tighten in public schools across the country, youth sports are feeling the pain. Between 2009 to 2011, $3.5 billion was cut from schools' sports budgets, and an estimated 27 percent of U.S. public high schools will not have any sports by the year 2020 if the current trends continue". This has and will continue to have an enormous affect on students in Michigan as well. In fact, the Ann Arbor school district has already ended freshman sports programs at all of its high schools. Also, "the district said that it would stop funding several other programs as part of a broader effort to make up for a $15 million reduction in K-12 funding from the state government".
In response to this unacceptable trend Dick Sporting Goods has announced, "that it's partnering with crowdfunding site DonorsChose.org to help schools seeking money for their school sports programs. The company has made a $25 million, multiyear commitment to help programs facing budget shortfalls." Even with donations from local and sports related business, these cuts across the nation continue to affect students every day. Without the ability to play sports at school, students receive less exercise and are increasing likely to become overweight or even obese. Other indirect effects include the loss of jobs for sports directors, trainers, and coaches.
What does the caucus think about this trend of defunding athletics programs?
Do you think sports should be one of the first things cut from schools budgets?
How does the caucus think governments can work towards stopping this trend?
What other resources can schools use to fund their athletic programs?
What are other potential solutions to this problem?