Sports vs academic funding

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Anything related to athletics here receives more funding, support, and appreciation than anything that has to do with academics.

Academic extracurricular activities including UIL, FCCLA, FFA and many other clubs should receive equal support and funding.

The lack of funding is the real issue when it comes to academic extracurricular activities. The budgets are smaller for anything that is not sports related. FCCLA and FFA for example, will not receiving funding for competitions past the state level. Two FCCLA Star Event teams qualified for Nationals in Nashville, but will have to figure out how to fund their trip. They also aren’t allowed to have any additional fundraisers to help offset these cost.

According to Director of Finance Shannon Ramirez, the district follows district and administrative policy in funding all organizations equitably for competition beyond the district level. Out-of-state travel is approved by the district for a team or organization advancing to a National event. Funding for competitions at the National level is provided from the organizations activity account as well as donations received to help sponsor the organization. Devine ISD is proud of all our organizations and their achievements. If the district is proud and going to use the success of these organization as a selling point/public relation tool then the program should be funded by the school district and not donations.

When they qualify for Nationals, they are required to figure out their trip funding. Many other school districts fund these trips and events that are not related to UIL or sports. In the end, it shouldn’t matter what the student activity is, these are all school organizations and should be funded by the school. When the school doesn’t fund the trips it sends the message that not all student activities are treated equally.

Not only is the unequal support seen in funding, but also when it comes to the use of the high school facilities. This can be seen when building space that could be use for academics is turned into athletic facilities.

For instance, the old cafeteria could be used as an art room, a journalism center, or the most logical use, a culinary arts center. Students could have learned important life skills and could have possibly been inspired to become a chef. All of these things could have happened, but instead, the space and money was used for a second weight room. That sends yet another message that sports are clearly more important than academics. It happened again when they built the Devine Student Activity Center (DSAC). The arts had to share their space with the cafeteria and the athletic department received a huge new gym. Our stage is nice, but it’s nowhere near an auditorium. Academics had to suffer.

The students who participate in academic extracurricular activities are made to feel like what they do isn’t as important as anything sports related. Devine High School should make it a priority to appreciate, fund and support the students who work hard and deserve the opportunity to be treated equally and compete at the highest level.