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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pasco School Board to talk athletics on Tuesday



The Pasco School Board plans to discuss its athletics program during a workshop Tuesday. The issue won't likely be cutting sports, though. 

Even as the board looks for ways to balance its budget for the new fiscal year, which begins Sunday, the idea of scaling back middle and high school athletic teams continues to be a non-starter.

"I'm dead-set against it," board member Steve Luikart told the Gradebook. "Those are some of the best dropout prevention programs we have."

He suggested the $2.1 million the district spends on coaching supplements, transportation, officials, insurance, equipment and playoff costs is well worth it. "I think there's other places in the budget we need to look at for cuts," said Luikart, who has urged reductions in school transportation expenses.

One area that's a candidate for review is the district policy on student-athlete transfers. New state law that takes effect Sunday puts more responsibility on districts to set rules for where and when student-athletes can switch schools, then monitor compliance. There was lots of chatter in the county last fall when four Ridgewood High football players bolted for Fivay High and were allowed to play.

"These issues have to be addressed," Luikart said.

[Last modified: Friday, June 29, 2012 3:08pm]


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