Washington County school board to consider change in sports funding

July 13, 2009|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- A new sports funding proposal for Washington County Public Schools would move Smithsburg High from fifth to first place among the seven high schools receiving money for athletics.

The funding change is expected to be voted on today by the Washington County Board of Education.

Currently, any funding schools receive from the Washington County Public Schools budget is based on total student enrollment at the school. The proposal calls for all schools to receive a base of $8,000 in sports funding, and then additional funds based on the number of student athletes at the school, according to Donna Hanlin, assistant superintendent for secondary education.

Schools are expected to receive about $209,459 for sports expenses in fiscal year 2010.

Schools would receive a percentage of the remaining funds after the base funding is subtracted. Those percentages would be based on the percentage of student athletes at the school compared to the number of student athletes at high schools countywide, Hanlin said.


These changes would not affect sports funding that comes from fundraising efforts or other means.

The changes would give Boonsboro, North Hagerstown and South Hagerstown high schools less county funding for sports. Budgets at Clear Spring, Hancock Senior-Middle, Smithsburg and Williamsport high schools would increase.

Chris South, the school system's chief financial officer, said he would not comment on the proposal until it is presented publicly to the school board during Tuesday's meeting.

Hanlin said that principals, athletic directors and the school board's finance committee recommended the changes, saying the proposed funding formula would be more equitable.

"Schools with more student participation would have the support they need," she said.

According to a chart provided to the school board, Smithsburg High School would receive $29,137 for sports if no changes were made to the current funding formula, making it second to last among the seven schools that receive funding. Smithsburg High would receive about $36,512 in fiscal year 2010 under the proposed disbursement method -- the most that would be received by any high school.

North High, currently the school with the most funding, at nearly $46,000, would fall to second place, and its funding would be cut by almost $10,000 under the proposal.

Hancock Middle-Senior High's sports funding would more than double under the proposed changes, but it would still remain the school that receives the least county money for sports, according to documents.

The school would receive $7,147 under the current funding strategy, and would receive about $8,993 more annually under the proposed changes -- for a total of $16,140.

South Hagerstown High would receive the largest decrease in funding, losing $14,032 under the proposed changes, documents state. The school would receive the second-most funding ($44,050) if no changes were made, but would drop to fifth, receiving $30,018, under the revised policy.

If you go

What: Washington County Board of Education meeting, where sports funding will be discussed

When: Today, 1 p.m.

Where: Washington County Public Schools central office, 820 Commonwealth Ave., Hagerstown

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