Editorial: Punt on ‘pay to play’

School funding, or a lack thereof, has dominated our news pages as of late, and rightfully so. Hanover’s schools are highly sought after and parents should be concerned when they hear news of draconian budget maneuvers.

One, in particular, has caught our attention. We urge the Hanover School Board to take off the table its nascent proposal to charge students for participating in extracurricular activities.

Extracurriculars are essential to the public education experience. Bonds are made, life lessons learned, and according to some researchers, school activities have a link to academic success.

In the Education Next article “Academic Value of Non-Academics,” June Kronholz points to an analysis by the National Center for Education Statistics, that found that high-school seniors who were involved in school activities were less likely to cut class. In addition, Kronholz writes that “three times as many had a GPA of 3.0 or higher; twice as many scored in the top quarter on math and reading tests. And 68 percent expected to get a college degree, compared to 48 percent of kids who weren’t involved in school activities.”

While we understand the need for belt-tightening, the school board should not create a scenario where students are slighted from participating in school athletics or other enriching school activities.

Perhaps all the school board needs to do is take Canova Peterson’s advice from last week’s Q&A with the H-P and simply ask for what they need.

Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 10:29 am