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Pay-to-play policy could be on horizon at Gateway

| Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Gateway students might have to pay to participate in extracurricular activities next school year.

While some school board directors advocated Monday for the public release of a proposed pay-to-play policy, others cautioned that it's too soon.

The proposed policy would apply to middle and high school activities such as athletic teams and marching band. A high school student would pay a maximum of $100 per sport, and the fee for one student would not exceed $275, school Director Bob Elms said.

The administrative policy should be made available to the public next week, school director Skip Drumheller said.

“We need to do these things out in public so people can see them and respond,” Drumheller said.

The school board is scheduled to vote Wednesday on releasing the first draft for a 30-day public review.

Members of the policy committee said Monday that they had yet to see or discuss the policy.

Committee members Janice Rawson and Jim Capell said the school board should wait until members have decided that a pay-to-play program is necessary to fund activities before releasing a policy.

Committee member Dave Magill said the proposed costs are unfair to lower-income families.

“It's got to be fair,” Magill said. “I didn't see where the lower-income people are being helped.”

School director Dan Nowak agreed that the discussion of the pay-to-play issue should start now, so school directors aren't grasping for budget solutions at the last minute — similar to what happened last year, he said.

Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8755, or klawson@tribweb.com.

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