School activities task force submits final report

Posted: Sunday, March 02, 2008

JUNEAU - A task force assigned to come up with how the city and schools could best finance high school sports and activities submitted its formal proposal Friday.

The Task Force Exploring Activities Money, or TEAM, was convened by Mayor Bruce Botelho and School Board President Andi Story after the community complained about the high cost of some high school activities and the large amount private donors were being asked to give to fund activities.

To help lower the participation costs and fundraising burden, TEAM recommended that the Juneau School District cover half of next year's activity cost, which they said would cost at least $2.2 million for the basics. The City and Borough of Juneau should pay a quarter of that cost, TEAM said.

That would mean an increase of $755,000 from the School District over the $345,000 it has already pledged for next year's activities, according to TEAM's report.

For the city, TEAM said it would mean an increase of $365,000 over the $185,000 it currently spends on high school activities.

TEAM recommends that players, parents and booster club fundraising cover the additional $550,000, plus pay for any additional costs, like out-of-state travel, that occur.

In a statement, TEAM facilitator Vance Sanders said the current cost to participate in some sports was $1,000 or more and the community relies on more than $1.4 million in fundraising each year for high school activities. He said the amount of Juneau's public funds going to high school activities was "considerably lower" than other Southeast Alaska communities.

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