Copyright 2014 The Topeka Capital-Journal
All Rights Reserved
Special to The Capital-Journal
The cost of extracurricular activities came in for close examination Monday night during the Shawnee Heights Unified School District 450 board meeting.
Expressing concern that some students might not be able to participate because of high costs, the board had asked the district athletic director to put together data on student expenses for each spot and activity. The board reviewed the costs, and some members didn't like what they saw.
Mandatory expenses ranged from $70 for the wrestling team to more than $1,000 for the cheer and dance teams.
"Cheer and dance are too expensive," board president Mark Hecker said. "I've have many parents voice that concern to me."
He floated the idea of putting a cap, for instance $500, on student expenses for activities.
"Every basketball game the dance team has a different costume. It's cool, but is it necessary?" he asked. "Having separate JV and varsity cheer uniforms is an error in my opinion."
While agreeing that costs are high, perhaps too high, some board members were more cautious about spending caps.
"Before we put a dollar limit on anything, I'd like to hear from the sponsors and coaches," board member Trey Burton said.
Added board member Eric Deitcher, "I think we have to be careful putting limits on spending."
The board didn't direct any action to restrict costs. Hecker said it is "the beginning of a conversation we need to have with all the parties involved."
In other business, the board:
- Approved the teacher contract for 2014-15. The contract, already approved by the teachers' association, adds 2.2 percent to the base salary package.
- Discussed a master plan for improvements to the high school campus, including moving the bus barn away from the front of the campus, adding a new entrance and asking the county to widen Shawnee Heights Road to improve traffic flow and safety.
Board member Gene Edwards didn't attend the meeting. The next meeting is 7 p.m. June 16 at Shawnee Heights High School.