My vote re the proposal to fund two West High JV soccer teams was about the kids and was for the kids. MMSD’s athletic budget for next year will fund 8 teams in each high school for soccer, but at West the demand from kids is for 10 teams, so the parent proposal was to fundraise for the two teams that school would be short under next year’s team allocation matrix.
I appreciated the parents’ efforts to be proactive on behalf of 50 high school kids who want to play soccer. I appreciated that the parents from West High expanded the name of their group to Madison, recognizing the possible future need to help kids across the city who want to play soccer. I hope we can harness these parents’ positive efforts for future discussions about what we need to do to keep athletics and other educational opportunities strong for our kids.
Further, in my opinion the long-term issue regarding extra-curricular sports is not about the number of teams (by the way, it’s up to 66 teams for all grades per high school in several sports, not just soccer), but a) what high school athletic program do we want for Madison’s children, b) how much does that athletic program cost, c) how much can the District afford to pay, and d) how will we pay for the amount not covered in the budget. The School Board has not had this discussion and needs to have this discussion ASAP.
In the meantime, as a community member on the Partnership Committee I supported this proposal and will continue to be open to new ideas from the community in all educational areas for different ways to build community linkages that will support a strong, complete educational environment for all our kids.