Are Boone Area School District athletics on the chopping block?
The Daniel Boone Area School District is facing a the dilemma. Officials say they are looking at a $5 million dollar budget deficit forcing them to cut programs to save money.
On Monday, the school board voted to consider cutting 14 district programs to reduce the deficit. Among them, kindergarten and sports.
The district is in a financial bind, said Superintendent Gary Otto. Otto said no one in his administration wants to cut sports or kindergarten. Unfortunately, Otto said, they have no other options to close the gap.
"It really makes everyone super mad," said Zach Taylor, a freshman at Daniel Boone Area High School.
"For sports, you have to have your grades above passing...so that keeps the kids grades above passing," said Chris Stewart, a freshman at Daniel Boone Area High School.
"You don't really need kindergarten, but it's good to have it," said Cassie Meyer, a sophomore at Daniel Boone Area High School.
According to the Pa. Department of Education, those two programs are extra-curricular and not a requirement. More than 400 people attended the school board meeting on Monday, February 25th, to voice their disapproval.
"I don't think that should be an option," said Stewart.
Otto would not talk with 69 News on camera, but stated that for years, they have had to cut programs and staff to balance their budget. The alternative, Otto stated, would be higher taxes for homeowners. Otto blames state cuts in funding and rising pension costs. Otto also stated that cyber and charter schools also cost the district at least $1 million a year.
For many, the news is hard to swallow.
"The money for football, that's how we get prom money," said Cory Kearney, a junior at Daniel Boone Area High School.
The school board will not vote on these cuts until June. The district will be holding a budget workshop meeting beginning at 7:30 P.M. at the middle school.
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