Students pay to participate in school sports

By Tiara Marocco
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Writer
Bath, MI – With the budget cuts affecting schools’ athletic programs, Bath schools have implemented “pay-to-participate” to help their athletics prosper. Many schools in Michigan have experience a drop in funds for extra-curricular activities and athletics. “Pay to participate came about in our district in about 2002,” said Matt Dodson, Bath High School principal, “and it started at $50-75 for the whole year. “We’ve had to raise it to about $100 and that pays for a student to play as many sports they want for that whole school year.”

Keeping it manageable

“Our athletic budget has been cut about 30%,” said Dodson, “so that kind of became a necessity for us to offer the same level of programs without cutting sports.”

All the fees to participate that the families pay all go completely towards the sports programs and extra-curricular activities, said Erik Harrelson, Bath High School athletic director. Bath community schools have found ways to make these payments manageable for families who cannot pay fully right away.