Phoenix-Talent Schools ends pay-to-play for student activities

Students and their families will no longer have to pay any fees for extracurricular sports or other activities.

Posted: Aug 22, 2019 11:08 AM
Updated: Aug 22, 2019 11:25 AM

PHOENIX, Ore. — With the proverbial stroke of a pen, the Phoenix-Talent School District says that it has ended to practice of families paying fees to participate in extracurricular sports or activities at schools within the district.

After Superintendent Brent Barry asked that the District suspend those participation fees at a recent meeting, the School Board agreed in a unanimous vote.

The District had capped fees at $200 per family throughout the course of the school year, so ending the fees entirely could mean a savings of up to $200 each year for some families.

"Our school board is continuously looking at how we can support kids and families by reducing or eliminating barriers to success,” Superintendent Barry said. “We know if students are connected and participate in extracurricular activities, they have a high GPA, graduation rate and larger support group. We are hopeful that this decision to eliminate participation fees provides additional opportunities for students to get involved in our district."

According to the District, most schools in Oregon charge a participation fee for sports and activities. Phoenix-Talent is now the only district in Southern Oregon to do away with the practice.

Practices for fall sports at the high school began on August 19, with more set to start at the middle school in September 3. In both cases, the decision came just in time to waive fees that participating kids would typically have to pay. The waiver also applies to activities like band and choir.

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