Carroll school board OKs $60 high school sports fee

Pay-for-play plan aimed at reducing budget deficit

July 25, 2002|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

The Carroll County school board unanimously voted yesterday to begin charging high school athletes a fee to play sports.

Carroll students will have to pay $60 for membership on each team, according to the new Interscholastic Athletic Fee policy. Although other public school systems have considered the idea, Carroll apparently is the only Baltimore-area school system - and one of three in the state - to require athletes to pay to play, officials said.

Officials said the payments are expected to yield about $250,000 for the school system.

The board made two changes yesterday to its original plan, which exempts students in the reduced-price or free lunch programs. One change adds a provision allowing a waiver of the fee for financial hardship, as determined by the school superintendent. The board did not define financial hardship.

The other change allows cheerleaders to pay only one fee per school year.

Two people addressed the board at yesterday's meeting. Richard L. "Dick" Bauerlein, 61, of Union Mills, a retired high school coach, and John Frederick Murray Jr., 45, of Mount Airy, both opposed the fee. The board members had approved the idea of the fee last month, as part of their effort to bring the school budget within the limits set by the county commissioners.

Only Frederick and Washington counties have such a fee now, although some other counties have considered it in the past decade.

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