Fundraising Requires Radical Reform
By Ashley Manzano, Staff Writer
Lights shining on a stage, the field filled with athletes. Across the country, parents and students have protested the cuts in funding towards the arts programs. They believe more money is going to the sports programs, but this is not always true. Fairfax County does not give more money to sports thn the arts. They do not give much money to sports at all.
According to The New York Times, “Arts education, long dismissed as a frill, is disappearing from the lives of many students -- particularly poor urban students. Even though artists and educators argue that children without art are as ignorant as children without math, their pleas have gone unheard as schools have struggled with budget cuts.
At our school, the Athletic Boosters Club is responsible for all sports-related expenses, including uniforms and equipment. To pay for all theses different expenses, team parents set up concession stands during all three seasons. They sell food, spirit wear, and admissions tickets because it’s their only way of getting money. This is because sports are considered extra-curricular activities. Theater, however, is a co-curricular class, so Fairfax County provides money for class materials like, props and costumes.
While it is true that theater has fewer opportunities to fundraise, they still sell gourmet food items, do car washes, and hold Unique clothing drives. They also receive a fixed amount of funds from the county that sports do not. What sports makes in concession and spirit wear sales, the arts receive from the county. According to the director of student activities, Jeanne Kelly, the Booster Club raise about $65,000 per year and have to give about $15,000 back for turf fields. The remaining $40,000 must be divided between 18 teams that all require different equipment and coaches.
Sports also have more tools that need constant upkeep like fields and equipment in comparison to theater that in this school requires a one-time fee that can be wavered if a student is unable to afford it.
The theater and sports programs benefit each other. They both share props, snacks from the snackbar, and equipment when needed.
The funding system is slightly flawed, but it is balanced out through funding from the county which increased sports fundraising. From the outside it seems like it is unfair, but the numbers say it all.