Janesville65.3°

Janesville School District mulls cuts in sports programs

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
August 23, 2010
— Fewer paid coaches, fewer opportunities to play basketball and less money for uniforms are on a list of proposed cuts to the Janesville School District budget.

Administrators are expected to discuss the cuts this week as they prepare an overall district budget for publication.


The athletics budget was at $1.34 million after an earlier cut of 30 percent to the athletics supplies budget.


The Janesville School Board in July directed the administration to come up with more cuts, totaling $80,000. That reduces the budget to $1.26 million.


On the list of proposed cuts are assistant coaches for two sports that attract large numbers of high school students, football and track. Craig and Parker high schools would be affected equally, with the reduction of one coach in each sport at both schools.


Coaches and athletics directors in the past have expressed concern that sports have enough coaches to ensure students’ safety.


Steve Sperry, director of administrative and human resources for the district, said the loss of coaches would not be a problem, “as we have individuals volunteering in those positions.”


Joe Dye of Parker High, who coaches both football and track, said it would be premature to comment on what is only a proposal.


“I want to respect the process and let them make their decision” before commenting, Dye said.


Middle school intramurals would end up with fewer coaches, fewer supervisors and less supplies, but individual sports would not be cut, Sperry said.


Fewer teachers would be hired to supervise student fans at football and basketball games, saving $3,000.


Both high schools would lose one of their two freshman basketball teams in both the boys and girls programs.


Sperry said the list came out of discussions that included the athletics directors at the middle and high schools, the athletics secretary, district Chief Financial Officer Keith Pennington and the high school principals.


“We will continue our efforts to reduce as we seek input from coaches, athletics directors and administration,” Sperry said in an e-mail.


“The building athletics directors along with Chris Nicholson (athletics secretary) have been extremely helpful in attending to the budget issue,” Sperry continued. “They live this each day as the managers for the building programs. Their input has been helpful in making informed decisions that affect other individuals’ job responsibilities.”



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