Students will pay less to play
The School Board cuts back some costs for playing sports and eliminates tryout fees.
By JEFFREY S. SOLOCHEK
Published July 11, 2007
LAND O'LAKES - The cost of playing sports in Pasco County schools just went down.
And trying out won't cost kids a dime anymore.
With enough money in the bank to cover athletic insurance, the School Board on Tuesday decided to eliminate the district's tryout fees - $20 at middle schools and $25 at high schools.
It also cut the cost of participating in a second high school sport, scaled back the total amount a family at the same school would pay in athletic fees, and set a maximum fee for individual athletes $100 in high schools, $75 in middle schools.
"It's something we can afford to do," superintendent Heather Fiorentino said.
Other student fees, for programs such as parking, band and lockers, remained unchanged.
Board vice chairwoman Kathryn Starkey cheered the change to the sports fees, which went up just a year ago. She especially thought the idea of paying to try to join a team was unnecessary.
She put her money behind her vote, too.
"I'm going to donate my (next paycheck to) ... River Ridge middle and high schools to help them pay their athletic fees," Starkey said.
Fiorentino noted that students who cannot afford the fees can get financial aid from the district.
In other business, the board:
- Learned that the district faces a 4 percent budget cut, or about $12-million, because of revenue shortfalls at the state level. The board will have a budget workshop at 9 a.m. today to discuss the situation.
- Approved several new principals. Mardee Kay Powers will transfer from principal at Sanders Memorial Elementary to principal at Denham Oaks Elementary. Kara McComeskey, formerly assistant principal at Trinity Oaks Elementary, will lead Lake Myrtle Elementary. Jill Middleton, assistant principal at Sanders Memorial Elementary, will take over as Sanders principal. And Kimberly Poe, assistant principal at San Antonio Elementary, will run Woodland Elementary.
- Upheld the superintendent's firing of Lillian Tambasco, a part-time cafeteria worker at River Ridge High School. Tambasco was dismissed for insubordination, hostile behavior and inappropriate language toward a co-worker.
Times staff writer Carrie Ritchie contributed to this report. Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, (813) 909-4614 or toll-free 1-800-333-7505 ext. 4614. For more education news, visit The Gradebook at blogs.tampabay.com/schools.