For the 2021-22 school year, it cost parents $175 for their high schoolers to play football in the Jordan School District. Next year, it could cost $425.
The district sent out a draft of proposed fees for the 2022-23 school year recently, noting some big changes.
Clarissa Crisp and Jennifer Casady, both mothers with sons who play multiple sports, have been crunching the numbers, trying to figure out why it would cost them so much more for their kids to play next year.
“The numbers, just, I have questions," said Crisp. "They don’t necessarily add up.”
“I mean, we’re talking about two-and-a-half to three times for most of the athletics," said Casady.
Football, basketball and softball would cost more than twice as much next year. But track and field and drill would cost the same.
“Why should a school, or an activity, that is more proficient, why should they be penalized and have to pay a higher fee for an activity or a school that is not as proficient?” said Casady.
Some sports and activities need new uniforms and equipment, and others don’t, said Brad Sorensen, the administrator of high schools for the Jordan School District.
Sorensen says inflation also plays a role.
“The cost of getting uniforms, equipment, gas, as our students are paying for their bus rides to and from events and activities," he said.
These hikes could mean some kids won’t be able to play, said Crisp.
“If you have a family of eight, you have to make less than $58,000 a year I think to qualify for a fee waiver," she said. "So let’s say you’re a two-income household, and even if you make $100,000, someone has a medical emergency, you still have a mortgage to pay, you still have car payments.”
But Sorensen says the district is not overcharging what the true cost of these programs is.
“I think the important part is recognizing these programs aren’t cheap to kind of run and have at our schools," he said. "And they do have a cost associated with them, but we also view them as a vital part of our experiences in our schools.”
The proposed fee increase is still just a draft; Tuesday night was the first public hearing on the changes.
The next one will be in two weeks on March 29.