OLR Research Report

March 22, 2005




By: Judith Lohman, Chief Analyst

You asked us to survey 10 to 20 school districts that require students to pay fees to participate in sports (“pay to play”) to determine how much the districts have budgeted for (1) meals for school board members and administrators, (2) out-of-state travel, and (3) conferences. This report updates our March 9, 2005 report (2005-R-0267) to add the survey response from Newtown.

A May 2004 Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) survey lists 29 school districts with pay-to-play requirements. Of these, we sent an e-mail survey to 17 on March 1. We received responses from eight districts as of the date of this report. All but one of the responding districts budget money for meals, out-of-state travel, and conferences. Individual districts' responses are shown in Table 1 along with each responding district's pay-to-play policy, according to CIAC.

Table 1: Selected School District Pay-to-Play Policies and Budgets for Meals, Out-of-State Travel, and Conferences


Total Budgeted

(FY 04-05 unless otherwise noted)

Comments and Additional Information

Pay-to-Play Requirement



Entire amount is for day conferences. No money for out-of-state travel or meals.

A separate fee is required for each sport offered. For all sports except ice hockey, the fee is $35 per student, per sport. For ice hockey, which receives no financial support from the board of education, the fee is $800 per student.



No breakdown between in- and out-of-district travel. This amount includes conferences. There is no amount for meals.

Ice hockey is the only pay-to-play sport. The program is run as a cooperative venture with Bethel.

The fee is $800.



80% for travel, 15% for conferences, and 5% for meals.

A fee of $75 per student allows a student to play one, two, or three sports.



As a result of budget restrictions last year (in effect in 2004-05), Milford notified all employee groups of limiting professional growth and learning to only in-state.

The only pay-to-play sport is ice hockey, for which the fee is $850.

New Fairfield


(proposed budget for FY 05-06)

Includes $4,000 for board of education members to attend annual CABE conference plus mini-retreat meetings through the year. $5,600 is for the superintendent for mileage and all in- and out-of-state conferences and meetings (one out-of-state trip per year). Remainder is for educational administrators and teachers to attend educational seminars, professional development, meetings, and related mileage.

$100 per sport, per season.



District does not breakdown the figure. This amount includes itinerant mileage for a staff of 600-800.

Separate fee for each sport. Amounts vary by sport, but are $100, $150, or $200. There is also a fee required for students to participate in non-athletic extracurricular activities, such as band, debate club, etc. The fee for each non-athletic extracurricular activity is $40.




$75 per sport, with a cap of $300 per family.



$5,986 – conference/travel

$2,050 – out-of-state mileage

$ 220 – meals

Please note that the administrators' contract includes $13,700 for attendance at professional development workshops. Tolland also budgets $25,860 for teacher professional development.

$100 per sport, with a cap of $300 per family.

The following districts surveyed did not respond in time for this report: Avon, Coventry, Hamden, Ledyard, Madison, North Stonington, South Windsor, Thompson, and West Hartford.