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OLR Research Report


February 15, 2012

 

2012-R-0069

SCHOOL DISTRICT PAY-TO-PLAY REQUIREMENTS FOR SCHOOL SPORTS

By: Hendrik deBoer, Research Fellow

Mark Randall, Research Fellow

You asked which school districts require high-school students to pay to participate in extracurricular school sports (i.e., “pay-to-play”). For those that do, you asked (1) which sports require a fee, (2) for the amount of the fee, (3) if there is a cap on the amount a student or family must pay per year, (4) the policy for waiving the fee, and (5) how much of the sport's cost the fee covers.

METHODOLOGY

We initially e-mailed school districts a survey regarding participation fees. We received only a small response. We followed up by calling high schools, e-mailing high school athletic directors, and researching school and district websites.

PAY-TO-PLAY FEES IN CERTAIN SCHOOL DISTRICTS

We obtained information from 116 school districts. Of these, 44 charge a participation fee for high-school athletics. The fees range from $25 per sport to $1,450 for ice hockey. Twenty nine school districts include a maximum amount that a student, family, or both can be charged during a single school year. Schools without a cap are generally those that charge the lowest fees.

Only four schools provided information about how much of the sport's costs the fees cover. The percentage of cost covered by the fees ranged from 10% to 50%.

All of the schools allow the participation fees to be waived or reduced for students with financial need, usually based on whether the student is eligible for reduced-price or free lunches.

Table 1 details 44 school districts' pay-to-play programs.

Table 1: Pay-To-Play Programs in Certain School Districts

School District

Fee Amount

(per student)

Yearly Cap

Additional Costs for Specific Sports

% of Cost Covered by Fees

Avon

$175/Team

Two sports/Student

Four sports/family

$75 for Crew

N/A

Berlin

$1450/Hockey

None

N/A

N/A

Bolton

$50/Team

$250/Family

None

N/A

Canton

$100/Team

$175/Student $300/Family

None

N/A

Cheshire

$100/Sport

$500/Family

$100 for hockey

15%

Colchester

$150/Team

$450/Student or family

None

N/A

Coventry

$25/Sport

None

None

N/A

Darien

$100/Year

None

None

N/A

E. Granby

$100/Year

$150/Family

None

N/A

E. Hampton

$150/Sport

$450/Family

None

N/A

E. Windsor

$100/Sport

None

None

N/A

Enfield

$100/Sport

$200/Student $400/family

$500 for hockey, $100 for golf

N/A

Farmington

$100/Sport

$400/Family

None

N/A

Granby

$75/Sport

$150/student $300/family

None

N/A

Killingly

$100/Sport

$100/Family

None

N/A

Ledyard

$100/Sport

$200/Student $400/family

None

N/A

Madison

$75/Sport

$450/Family

None

N/A

Milford

$850/Hockey

None

N/A

10%

Monroe

$250/Team

$1000/Family

None

N/A

Naugatuck

$50/Sport

$200/Student

None

N/A

New Fairfield

$100/Sport

None

None

N/A

New Milford

$75/Year

None

$375 for hockey, $100 for golf

N/A

Newington

$75/Sport

$150/Student

None

N/A

Newtown

$100-$200/Sport

$450/Family

None

N/A

Oxford

$75/Sport

$150/Student $300/family

None

N/A

Region 08

$185 /Year

$185/Student

None

N/A

Region 10

$200 - $300 / Football

450/Family

N/A

N/A

Region 13

$40/Year

None

None

N/A

Region 15

$100/Sport

$400/Family

None

N/A

Ridgefield

$225/Sport

None

None

N/A

S. Windsor

$125/Sport

$500/Family ($800/Family for hockey)

$275 for hockey

N/A

Shelton

$100- $300/Sport

None

None

N/A

Simsbury

$175/Sport

$700/Family

$200 for hockey and swimming

50%

Somers

$50/Sport

$200/Family

None

N/A

Stafford

$50/Sport

None

None

N/A

Thomaston

$50/Sport

None

None

N/A

Tolland

$275/Sport

None

None

N/A

Trumbull

$250/Sport

$750/Family ($900/Family for hockey)

$250 for hockey

N/A

Wallingford

$100/Sport

$200/Student $300/family

None

N/A

Watertown

$110/Sport

No cap

None

N/A

W. Hartford

$125/Sport

$375/Family

None

N/A

Weston

$75/Sport

$300/Family

None

25%

Wethersfield

$60-90/Sport

$400/Hockey

$200/Student $350/family

None

N/A

Wilton

$50/Year

None

None

N/A

Source: High school and board of education websites and staff

HD/MR:ro