A reader forwarded me comments that were sent to the Madison School Board regarding the proposed athletic field fees:
As you would guess, many of us who have watched a soccer game, t-ball game or football game and enjoyed the unencumbered spirit and play of our children and have personally mowed the grass, or lined a field, you may oppose the school board proposal of a user fee for the athletic fields during non-school hours.
I sent a letter to the comments section of MMSD school board. Send yours to: comments@ at madison.k12.wi.us
My letter to the school board stated:
I notice there is a proposal whereby the school board wants to consider placing a user fee on the school athletic fields for any use of these fields outside of school functions and MSCR activities. I am opposed to this proposal for a few reasons:
1. The school boards refusal to look at cutting administrative costs downtown as part of any budget proposals. Continuing to cut teaching positions and programs that affect learning is not reasonable and needs to be discouraged. Also would encourage looking at savings in terms of health care costs by negotiating HMO contracts rather than giving the teachers the comprehensive health insurance they presently receive.
2. The lack of maintenance of the fields by the schools. I have personally mowed the soccer fields at Cherokee, lined the fields and have watched coaches donate time and equipment (goals) to make the fields playable. I doubt that the maintenance or quality of equipment will improve with the user fee proposed.
3. Anything that can be done to encourage childhood fitness rather than discourage it should be the stance of the school board. Using the fees towards an improved PE curriculum with daily PE through 12th grade, improved athletic facilities both indoor and outdoor or promises of daily physical activity time outside of PE would be a first step in garnering my support of such a fee.
If the fee is assessed, I will not be interested in supporting the proposed referendum for a new school or capital improvement.