Sunday, July 25, 2004

Pay-to-play program lags

Fairfield schools extracurricular activities need more for deadline

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

FAIRFIELD - A group running a pay-to-participate program in Fairfield schools says it needs more students to pay their fees to meet its first payment on Aug. 4.

Otherwise, there may not be any fall sports if voters reject an operating levy on Aug. 3.

"We're not where we need to be,'' said Tim Crowe, a steering committee member of Promoting Activities for a Complete Education. "If we don't get enough fees paid, we won't be able to make our payments.''

After voters rejected an operating levy in March, the Fairfield Board of Education approved allowing the group to raise funds.

The group needs to raise $963,396 to reinstate all programs. The money was to be paid in four installments, based on participation each season.

The group is charging $630 per sport for high school students. Fees for middle school athletes were set at $430.

Marching band members will pay $350. Other middle school and high school activities and clubs will cost $260 per activity, per student. Students in grades 1-6 will pay a flat $20.

Crowe said fees were set assuming that at least 70 percent as many students would participate compared to last year. But when the July 17 deadline passed, only 46 percent as many students had paid fees for fall sports, marching band, clubs, music and drama. Middle school students have been especially slow to pay, Crowe said.

For fall sports and marching band, payments have reached 85 percent of last year's participation. But only 27 percent as many students have paid for non-sports activities.

The first payment of $306,231 for fall sports, marching band and cheerleading is due Aug. 4, followed by $225,935due Sept. 15 to cover drama, music and clubs for grades 1-12.

The deadline for mail payments has been extended to July 31, but the group will no longer collect money in person at schools. Payments postmarked by July 31 should be mailed to: PACE, P.O. Box 18625, Fairfield, OH 45018-0625.

If voters approve the levy, all money collected by PACE will be refunded.

"If we win, there will still be some sort of pay-to-participate fees,'' said Anne Crone, president of the Fairfield Board of Education. "I think that's the way of the future. A lot of schools are doing that.''


Too fast, too young
Kids with a yen for speed have a legal outlet to race
Is suspending license enough?

Lung cancer genes identified
Is it safe to smoke if you don't have gene?
Years of detective work tracked genes

Home sale to sever final link to Epling
Swing-state status lifts Ohio delegates' prestige
Group one of nation's few to help save species

Comic-book exploits lure kids to libraries
Pay-to-play program lags
White's Senate position onerous
What has odds of 1 in 9 million? Hit twice by lightning - and he was
State Fair evolution: Shorter, diverse
Local News briefs
Neighbors briefs
Ohio briefs

Crowley: Deja vu once again as Clooney shuns his fellow Democrats
Bronson: Center woes: What to do? Oh, nothing
Good Things Happening
Good Things Happening in Kentucky

Anne G. Brierley, 84, was retired dietician
Dr. William Fullen was U.C. professor, pioneer in surgery
Elsbet Gruen, 97, owned Corryville apparel store
Pat Hibbard managed St. John's cafeteria

Newport detour headache to linger
Buildings to be razed for Bellevue development
Northern Kentucky News in Brief
Ky. hate-crimes law assailed
Forgotten cemeteries need care
Mom unrepentant after disappearance
Got a crime to report? Try online
Edgewood seniors move meeting place
Thursday confabs meld into faithful fellowship
Senators fight tobacco buyout
Northern Kentucky Week in Review