Prepared Text for Board Meeting SPAC

April 13, 2009

Marc A. Schare

614 791-0067 Work - 614 791-1779 Fax

marc9@aol.com

 

Tonight, I want to share some thoughts on the co-curricular program. I hate to drag out the M word again micromanagement but in this case, I hope that we as a board can focus our discussions at the 10,000 foot level rather than trying to second guess whether a given program needs another assistant coach. Granted, it may come to that, but at least for this first discussion, Id like to try to get at the following macro issues.

 

First, is the taxpayer subsidy we give to the cocurricular program comparable with surrounding districts? As a district, are we are spending too little on sports, too much on sports or just the right amount. Should we let the community weigh in on this question via a public forum?

 

Second, we have a somewhat artificial ratio of expenditures between athletics and activities, 2/3 for athletics and 1/3 for activities. This ratio is referenced in union contracts. Is this something that should be continued?

 

Third, what is the overall goal of the cocurricular program? Participation in an activity or a sport doubtless contributes to the social and emotional development of students and that is the justification for any taxpayer subsidy, but what are we trying to accomplish with this expenditure? Are we trying to maximize participation so that the most students possible can benefit from the program? Alternatively, are we trying to build the most competitive teams possible so that students have the most opportunity to excel? Obviously, this is a balancing act, but our current program seems tilted more towards participation. We offer a tremendous range of activities and sports and to do so, we ask that for some activities and sports, parents fund some of the coaching positions. Is this what Worthington wants or would our community prefer that we offer slightly fewer sports or activities and divert resources to others. I dont know, but the issue of participation vs. competitiveness as a program goal is one of those 10000 ft. issues that this board, our administration and our community should look at.

 

Fourth, when Jennifer and I first asked for this report, I was envisioning a far more comprehensive effort geared towards evaluating all aspects of the current program. For perfectly understandable reasons, this report doesnt do that but it does offer minor tweaks to the current program. Another 10000 ft. question is the issue of what this board wants out of SPAC. Are we looking for a detailed report that benchmarks Worthington against surrounding districts with an eye towards resetting the program or are we looking for annual tweaks that might respond to issues that crop up from year to year. Does the report go far enough in providing a formulaic approach to the allocation of resources? Whatever we choose, it should be an affirmative choice and not something that just happens. If we choose annual tweaks, SPAC should have a predictable yearly calendar that would let people know the schedule and there should be plenty of time for constituent comment. I look forward to the discussion of these issues.