Budget Cuts Put Activities on Chopping Block

by Michael Garcia on March 20, 2015

When it comes to budgets at the high school level, the only sure thing that schools can count on as each year passes is a dearth of surplus and a propensity for potential cuts.  Whether staff or faculty positions are cut to reduce overhead or activities and extra-curricular programs are threatened to shut down due to funding being taken away, having a sustainable budget is a rarity. 

In the below article, columnist Samantha McDaniel-Ogletree talks about how a school has threatened to shut down its activities and sports programs for two years in a row due to cutting their budgets.  The article goes on to talk about the different fundraisers that these activities are doing to try to make up the difference to stay afloat.  Unfortunately, because these fundraisers are event and product based which may make them just enough to survive the year, the school and community will be faced with the same problems next year. 

Sustainable fundraising and program-building is essential for schools and booster clubs today.  When you approach fundraising from a professional perspective and ask for major gifts for specific interests, programs and schools will evolve to just keeping their heads above water, to being self-sustaining year after year.  Check our our free report by filling out the information to the right.  We're here to help!

Students trying to save activities

For the second year, the Beardstown school community is trying to save student sports and programs.

After having short notice of the cuts last year, the groups rushed to organize a fundraiser to fund all sports, clubs and organizations. This year, the Beardstown school community is getting an early start to gathering funds for next year’s activities.

The Beardstown High School National Honors Society, as well as every other club and sport, is facing elimination from the school after the Beardstown School Board made drastic cuts to keep the school from going over its budget.

The NHS is hosting a carnival fundraiser “Save Tiger Nation” from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Beardstown High School to help them start raising the nearly $70,000 that would be needed to fund the activities.

NHS adviser Stacey Savage said an exact figure has not been given by the district, but the groups are using the numbers from last year’s fundraisers as an estimate of what it needs this year.

“We are all in it together and every group, every organization, every sport, comes out,” Savage said. “Everyone is in it together. One activity isn’t more important than the other. Nobody gets thrown under the bus.”

NHS President Ross Blakeman said he grew up in Beardstown and knows how supportive the community is and hopes it continues.

“It’s near and dear to me. I hate seeing this taken away from our students here. It’s rough to see their enjoyment in the school is being taken away,” Blakeman said.

Each student sport or organization will be sponsoring their own activity inside carnival, such as a soccer tournament in the middle school gym, face painting, a photo booth and Sumo wrestling.

Also, there will be a silent auction with several different items, including sports tickets.

Area businesses, both in Beardstown and other towns, have also donated items to be auctioned.

“We hope that we have a lot of support and a lot of the community come out and show that they care about our school,” Blakeman said. “Like our T-shirts say, ‘Our school, our town’.”

A lunch will be served and there also will a be a pulled pork dinner from 4 to 6 p.m. No prices have been set yet.

The adult booster club Tiger Nation Boosters will also be hosting its own events to help raise money.

All money raised between the carnival and the booster clubs events will go into one fund for the activities.

Savage said this will continue to be a cause until the school board can fund programs again.

“It’s still ongoing,” Savage said. “It’ll continue to be ongoing.”

Samantha McDaniel-Ogletree can be reached at 217-245-6121, ext. 1233, or on Twitter @JCNews_samantha

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