Continuing Unhappiness with New Booster Regs.

The last we heard from parents in New Mexico dealing with new booster club regulations, they were frustrated. Upset that their hard-earned voluntary donations would likely impact their kids’ sports less if pooled together, discouraged from participating in club activities, concerned about bureaucratic interference.

Well, their sentiment hasn’t changed much, according to KRQE, a local Albuquerque affiliate:

Behind every high school football team is an army of boosters, parents and supporters who fundraise to pay for what school districts can’t.

“As a parent you want to give your kids the best and we raise funds to do that,” said Erick Ornelas, outgoing president of Cibola High School Football’s booster club.

But Ornelas and many other APS boosters are worried that the money they’re paying could soon go to fund other sports and activities at each school.

In mid-November, the APS Board unanimously passed a policy requiring all athletic booster club funds run through each school’s activity fund starting next school year, with other non-sport activities joining the year after.

The change was designed to help the district comply with the 2009 School Athletics Equity Act, a piece of state legislation that requires all schools to report data on athletic teams, including how teams are funded. That reporting includes any private booster clubs.

Although the law does not require districts to manage booster club funds, APS’ board decided that was the best way to move forward.

“I understand the reasons for it but I don’t understand why they’re doing it the way they are,” Ornelas said.

Ornelas is concerned that having a central fund at each school and putting APS administrators in charge of the money could lead to several problems. His biggest concern is that APS will use control of booster funding to shift funding from football to other school sports, leading to strongly decreased parent participation.

“They don’t want to see the money they raise go to boy’s basketball or any [other] sport,” Ornelas said.

Other worries include fears that APS administrators will start dictating exactly what clubs can or can’t spend money on, that APS will deduct overhead costs needed to manage the money from booster club funding and that adding a layer of administration will be incredibly burdensome.

Read the rest here.

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