More on the Elimination of No-Cut Freshman Sports

Susan Lampert-Smith:

At Memorial, Athletic Director Tim Ritchie said he hopes kids who get cut will find a team in an expanded intramural basketball league through Madison School Community Recreation.
“You hope that you have a good intramural program that keeps kids working towards making the team next year,” he said.
I worry about the kids for whom basketball or volleyball would have been their only school activity. And I’m even more worried about the kids who won’t try out because they fear not making the grade.
Those are the missing kids that Joe Frontier worries about.
Sometimes, there’s no real way to know the true cost of saving money.

Lampert-Smith mischaracterizes this decision as a “cost of saving money.” The Madison School District’s budget grows annually (including the generation of grant funds, which is to be commended), this year to $320M+. Rather, the Madison School Board’s decision to eliminate no-cut freshman sports reflects choices made, or not made, such as:

  • Ongoing reductions in Fine Arts Curriculum
  • Controversial growth in health care spending (WPS costs far more than the Group Health Care alternative)
  • Growing administrative budgets ($1.5M more this year than last)
  • Shifting programs to MSCR, which is funded by Fund 80. Fund 80 is a growing, controversial source of local property tax revenue that is not constrained by state spending caps.

Loehrke’s recent speech to the Florence schools provides a roadmap for such decision making: putting students first.

What can you do? Send your thoughts on these matters to the Madison School Board: and ask 2006 Madison School Board Candidates about these issues. Two seats are up for election in April, 2006; those currently held by Bill Keys and Juan Jose Lopez.

One thought on “More on the Elimination of No-Cut Freshman Sports”

  1. Some valuable comments and articles about this issue were also shared by many on July 7th and July 8th.
    I think it’s important to provide feedback to the board by using the most current budget figures. I *thought* (could be wrong) that some of the adminstrative costs changed when (I think Lawrie) froze a position(s); asking it not be filled and some retirements and promotions may have changed since mid-March. Unless the administrative budgeting is placed under the same deadlines as the general budget (current law states an earlier deadline for positional notification)…it’s difficult to make direct improvements.
    Is the Health Care Choice a matter for the board, or is it one that citizens should provide comments to the union directly? I’m uncertain. Unless we have an understanding of how this is controlled/decided; suggested improvements are difficult.
    Take some time to notice how money was recently found, how it was spent and if you agree or disagree.
    With advertising being a big discussion one has to wonder:
    Are there 40 businesses in the Madison district willing to spend $1000 each to reinstate these programs?
    That would be about 10 businesses / high school.

Comments are closed.