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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Unnecessary lowering of athletic contributions hurts smaller teams

Equality. In modern society, we are always reaching and fighting for that one word, but we do not always need it.

In the beginning of this year the superintendent and administrators decided to lower the suggested amount Saratoga parents can donate to athletics from $275 to $225 and raised Los Gatos’ suggested donation from $200 to $225. When a student registers for a sport, the school recommends but cannot require this donation as it did in the past.

Athletic contributions are the key to making the sports program a success as they provide much needed funding. With this in mind, the school is desperately trying to cope with the budget cuts and the reduced suggested contribution amount this year. It is strange, though, that Los Gatos even with its active Los Gatos Athletic Association that helps to raise significant funding, needs its suggested contribution amount to be raised $25. If it has done well in the past with the $200, why does it need to be increased just so Saratoga does not have to decrease its amount to an even lower $200? This need for equity between the contribution amounts between Saratoga and Los Gatos is unneeded and has only hurt Saratoga High.

Saratoga High should be separated from Los Gatos as it does not have as able a foundation to help with funding. Its contribution amount should remain at the original $275 as with this drastic drop in the maximum amount the school can ask for, many teams are unable to hold the same “standard of living” they had before. The tennis team lacked new balls and water polo needs balls and swim caps and has resorted to fundraising to have the usual equipment.

Other times, though, equality is needed.

The donations parents make fund everything in sports, yet teams such as water polo, tennis and golf still suffer from lack of funding, despite the generous contributions from parents.

In recent years, the school itself has been able to choose which sports get how much money, based on their spending in previous years even though 93 percent of parents contribute the $225. But what if the need for money for a certain sport increases, or parents want to have all their money to go their child’s sport?

It makes little sense when parents donate over $200 to athletics for their student who plays a sport like field hockey or cross country, which uses considerably less money, for all of that money to go to a different sport such as football.

Parents should be able to direct their own contributions rather than having all their money go into one large pool. Since only four or five teams have their uniforms paid for by the school, the rest of the school teams, such as golf and tennis, must collect their own funds directly from parents for the mandatory uniforms, which range from $20 to $80. Those parents have to pay this extra amount in addition to the suggested $225 and any other donations they have made.

Donations fund everything in sports, yet teams such as water polo, tennis and golf still suffer from lack of funding, despite the generous contributions from parents.

Other neighboring schools, such as Cupertino High School, have an athletic fee of only $60. At Lynbrook High, parents pay a $50 donation to general athletics and $30 to an individual sport, a small sum as compared to our $225. The division between general donations and individual sport donations may be the key to success.

The unfortunate truth is these unnecessary equal suggested contributions have caused the small teams on campus to fundraise to make ends meet. Water polo has recently had to sell extremely overpriced $20 water bottles and T-shirts to cope with the budget cuts.

While trying to achieve equity in the suggested dollar amount between Saratoga High and Los Gatos High, the need to adjust according to each sport’s current needs has been overlooked.

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