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Denebola editors oppose the proposed student activities

Posted By Denebola On March 23, 2011 @ 1:10 am In Editorials and Opinions | Comments Disabled

As part of the plan to mitigate the effects of the FY12 budget cuts, the Superintendent is proposing a $125 student activities fee.
This fee, intended for middle school Triple E programs and high school clubs, would help the district to counteract the consequences of insufficient funds to maintain and grow the programs and services provided district-wide.
Denebola recognizes the gravity of this year’s budget dilemmas and commends the central office for seeking creative solutions to a difficult situation.
But as students who devote significant time to an extra-curricular activity – the school newspaper – we fear that the proposed activities fee will negatively affect student activities – and the students involved in them – throughout the city.
It’s long been common practice to charge such fees for athletics, so it may seem fitting to impose similar fees for other after school programs.
The proposed fee concerns us, however, since there does not seem to be a correlation between the addition of fees and an increase in funds available to support activities, like advisor, coach, and director stipends.
Nor does this fee account for the varying degrees of interest, participation, and time-commitment in different clubs.
For example, some clubs meet during Wednesday J-Blocks, but others – like theatre and publications – work into the evening and on weekends.
Why should a student’s family be obligated to pay the same amount to participate in a once-a-week club as for a clearly more intense and involved activity? For us it is a problem that the proposed plan for the FY12 fees do not address what is effectively inequity.
Furthermore, we worry that an activities fee – even with a mechanism for addressing special financial circumstances – will discourage students from joining activities that would end up being beneficial to them.
We know firsthand the positive impact of activities like Denebola – activities that not only provide us with an important community of friends and colleagues, but are also key to defining who we are as learners and as people.
The $125, no matter how logical a fee or how fundamental to maintaining Newton’s high academic standards, will likely stand between a student with potential interest and the activity he or she wants to participate in.
If we were freshmen with interest in joining Denebola, this fee would certainly influence our enthusiasm to join the newspaper – and we can only imagine this is the same case with prospective speech, theatre, mock trial, and student union participants.
Denebola is, for the reasons outlined, opposed to the implementation of a student activities fee.
But we appreciate the financial climate in which this idea was proposed, as well as the central office’s effort to maintain as many academic programs as possible.
We nevertheless stress that this type of fee will almost certainly impact the ways in which students think about extracurricular participation – commitments that, in our experience, are a significant part of a Newton South education.

As part of the plan to mitigate the effects of the FY12 budget cuts, the Superintendent is proposing a $125 student activities fee. This fee, intended for middle school Triple E programs and high school clubs, would help the district to counteract the consequences of insufficient funds to maintain and grow the programs and services provided district-wide.Denebola recognizes the gravity of this year’s budget dilemmas and commends the central office for seeking creative solutions to a difficult situation. But as students who devote significant time to an extra-curricular activity – the school newspaper – we fear that the proposed activities fee will negatively affect student activities – and the students involved in them – throughout the city.It’s long been common practice to charge such fees for athletics, so it may seem fitting to impose similar fees for other after school programs. The proposed fee concerns us, however, since there does not seem to be a correlation between the addition of fees and an increase in funds available to support activities, like advisor, coach, and director stipends. Nor does this fee account for the varying degrees of interest, participation, and time-commitment in different clubs.For example, some clubs meet during Wednesday J-Blocks, but others – like theatre and publications – work into the evening and on weekends. Why should a student’s family be obligated to pay the same amount to participate in a once-a-week club as for a clearly more intense and involved activity? For us it is a problem that the proposed plan for the FY12 fees do not address what is effectively inequity.Furthermore, we worry that an activities fee – even with a mechanism for addressing special financial circumstances – will discourage students from joining activities that would end up being beneficial to them. We know firsthand the positive impact of activities like Denebola – activities that not only provide us with an important community of friends and colleagues, but are also key to defining who we are as learners and as people.The $125, no matter how logical a fee or how fundamental to maintaining Newton’s high academic standards, will likely stand between a student with potential interest and the activity he or she wants to participate in. If we were freshmen with interest in joining Denebola, this fee would certainly influence our enthusiasm to join the newspaper – and we can only imagine this is the same case with prospective speech, theatre, mock trial, and student union participants.Denebola is, for the reasons outlined, opposed to the implementation of a student activities fee.But we appreciate the financial climate in which this idea was proposed, as well as the central office’s effort to maintain as many academic programs as possible. We nevertheless stress that this type of fee will almost certainly impact the ways in which students think about extracurricular participation – commitments that, in our experience, are a significant part of a Newton South education.

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Article printed from Denebola: http://www.denebolaonline.net

URL to article: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/03/23/denebola-editors-oppose-the-proposed-student-activities/

URLs in this post:

[1] “Cuts”: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/03/23/%e2%80%9ccuts%e2%80%9d/

[2] Just how rounded is too “well rounded”?: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/02/10/just-how-rounded-is-too-well-rounded/

[3] Con: Students should focus their effort on trying a variety of fields: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/10/21/con-students-should-focus-their-effort-on-trying-a-variety-of-fields/

[4] Technical Advisor’s Note:: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/06/10/technical-advisors-note/

[5] Overbooked: A life without breaks: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/02/10/overbooked-a-life-without-breaks/

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