Now that its time for budget cuts in the Osceola School District, everyone is going to lose something. While there are two sides to every cut, it is safe to say that students here at the high school don’t want to see their sports get cut, specifically boys and girls tennis, boys and girls golf, and the girls hockey co-op.
After fifth grade band was cut, and other middle school sports on the line, more and more students are getting worried their activity will be the next to go. But really, how much would these cuts save? Cutting these five sports is only saving a recently estimated amount of $30,000 worth (3.33%) which is no where close to making an impact on the overall $900,000+ the school district needs to cut.
If we cut our sports, then aren’t we decreasing the value of our district? In my family, all three of us kids are students in the high school and will be negatively impacted by this cut, as will many other families in the district. Prospective families with kids who participate in these activities would easily choose another district over ours if they have better and more options for their kids.
Athletic programs are important because they offer each athlete an identity and a purpose, and serve as a valuable at-risk program. They create a sense of pride in the school and the community. The goal when faced with budget cuts is to lessen the impact in “the classroom”, but don’t sports teach just as valuable lessons? Sports can teach us how to handle success and failure, how to be hardworking and dedicated, inspire motivation in school, and how to work with others to achieve a common goal.
As a tri-sport athlete, athletics are just as important to me as academics. I have learned just as much from my coaches and fellow teammates as I have from my teachers. School provides an opportunity to grow as a person, and I see most of my personal growth through playing sports. Even if you aren’t a very athletic person, these programs also give you a chance to make new friends and develop connections in the school and community. It is important we preserve this opportunity.
As the future captain of the 2019-2020 girls tennis team, I would be devastated if tennis was cut, as I’m sure others would be with their own athletics. I can’t imagine not having the opportunity to play for my senior year, and I know I’d have an extremely less enjoyable school year without being able to participate in one of my favorite activities.
That is why I am challenging the school board to be more creative with their cuts. I challenge them to preserve the identity of our schools. And I challenge them that next time they want to pass a referendum they be a little more transparent with the spending. So please, if you are a voter in the Osceola School District, please show you care for these high school teams. You can do this by sending a letter to our school board members, and by showing up at the next school board meeting on May 8, to show support for our athletic programs with me.