Pa. schools see threefold jump in sports fees
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania public schools are three times more likely to charge students to participate in sports than they were three years ago, according to a study released Wednesday by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.
The survey found that 38 percent charge sports participation fees, up from 13 percent in 2010. It said fee sizes are also increasing and now average $80 and 11 percent of districts have cut sports, most commonly basketball, soccer or golf.
The largest fee for a single sport reported was $200.
The state's 500 public school districts have been under increasing financial pressure in recent years, leading to higher real estate taxes, cuts to staff and programs, or both.
The survey also found that about one in five districts currently charges fees for other activities, such as band or chorus.
The association, working with the Pennsylvania State Athletic Directors Association, contacted all 500 districts, and had a response rate of 37 percent.
A phone message seeking comment from the state Education Department was not returned.
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