By Maddy PUMILIA
The decision on an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit stating California School Districts such as GUSD can no longer charge students for educational activities like sports or band may make an impact in local schools.
ACLU settled the lawsuit with the State of California after the organization argued that the fees discriminate against lower-income children because it goes against their right to a free education. Although Glendale Unified School District is in a better position than other districts, school programs at Crescenta Valley High School will most likely need to be altered due to the lack of funding.
“Funding will probably be down and take a hit,” said Joylene Wagner, president of the school board. “People are not as willing to give to a program than [to] their students.”
Wagner said the schools could fundraise to help fill the gap. She said it would be up to the programs to see what is not needed. The school board doesn’t make a decision of what to cut.
For example, cheerleading has taken a huge hit. They can’t afford to hire as many staff members because of the lack of donations and the fees aren’t mandatory like they used to be. The program went from five staff members to two.
“We have more kids than we ever had [in my eight years with cheerleading],” said Head Coach Danielle Smith. “I believe we have 132 [kids] and this is the least number [of staff] we have had.
“We don’t want to see the program deteriorate. It’s just so sad.”
One program that won’t be affected as much as cheerleading is football. Falcon football booster club president Bent Hansen said the changes in football would be subtle.
“It could affect us in the future if people didn’t do fundraising,” he said. But Hansen didn’t expect this to happen. Successful past fundraisers include a community discount card to local merchants that people could buy. Money was also raised by selling ad space in the football program.
School music director Mat Schick said of the band that he didn’t know how the kids were going to be affected. In explaining to parents the changes, he made sure to make it clear that parental support was needed.
“We’re hoping parents will understand and donate,” he said. “This year, I think we’ll be OK.”
Principal Michele Doll is optimistic that the ACLU decision won’t great impact the school’s activities. “Most of our programs aren’t affected,” she said. “We’re still going to continue asking for donations and fundraising.”