District increases athletic funding

The CVUSD has agreed to begin a three-year process to replenish athletic funding for the middle schools and CVHS. Due to increasing costs and declining donations and fundraisers, the district will distribute $50,000 among Canyon, Creekside, and CVHS athletic programs for the 2015-2016 school year.

“We recognize that the $50,000 will not cover the costs of the programs, but it is a start,” said Superintendent Jim Negri.

Due to the budget in the 2009-2010 school year, the board reduced funding for K-12 athletics by 50 percent, and in 2010-2011 eliminated all athletic funding in order to maintain a balanced budget and minimize staff layoffs and other program reductions. In addition to athletics, there were also reductions in class sizes, maintenance, and supplies. Because the district budget no longer funded the operation of K-12 athletic programs, middle and high school athletic programs had to become self-funded through voluntary donations and fundraising.

California law states that schools and districts cannot charge students to participate in the athletic program if the district budget does not fund the program. As a result, schools now ask for a voluntary donation per student per sport, between $225-$350 at CVHS. The money raised from donations, fundraising, and gate receipts has not always generated enough revenue to cover the costs of athletic programs. Initially, donations and fundraising helped to meet the costs, but income has started to be reduced because the same parents and small businesses in Castro Valley are constantly being asked to donate every year. Athletic Boosters and individual teams are “burned out” from fundraising and donating.

Each year the cost of athletic programs rises due to cost increases in transportation, officials, league fees, coaching stipends, and security. To begin, the process will focus on addressing coaching stipends with the possibility of increasing the amount after the state’s budget is adopted in June. In addition, principals and staff members are working with the school community to find ways of reducing costs and increasing revenue for athletic programs.

Of the $50,000 from CVUSD, $30,000 will go into the CVHS athletic funding account, meaning that the money will not be distributed among individual teams. Instead, it will only be used as needed.

“We need a lot more money to fully fund the CVHS athletic program which is $300,000 per year. We are still faced with having to come up with a lot more money on our own,” stated athletic director Andy Popper.

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