Lakota rolls out fourth phase in budget cuts

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - Monday night, Lakota District officials presented a proposal to cut more than $300,000 from the district's athletic programs.

The district does not plan to raise its pay to play fees, however it does plan to cut more than a dozen athletic positions including assistant coaches and an athletic trainer.

At the high school level the cost to play a sport is $550 per athlete per sport and at the junior high level the cost is $350.

"I like Lakota so we're going to pay it," said Mary Sue Slack, Lakota parent. "My only issue is there is no family cap and you pay regardless whether he plays in the fall or the spring he is playing $550 each time."

Executive Director of Business Operations Chris Passarge says pay to play started in Lakota more than a half decade ago. Last year the cost was $300 for high school students, and since has jumped to $550.

"It's been increased because the general fund has been decreased each year," said Passarge.

Passarge says with the most recent pay to play increase the district has seen a 5 percent decrease at the high school level of students participating in sports and a 14 percent decrease at the junior high level.

"I don't think we are going to have enough kids to field a freshman softball team for East and West," said Passarge.

If the athletic cuts are approved by the school board they will go into affect next school year.

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