For the past two years, members of the Athletics Ad Hoc Committee have reviewed Dexter’s athletic offerings, the structure of funded, self-funded and club-funded sports, the financial sustainability and Title IX-compliance of the Districtwide K-12 athletic program. The end result of this extensive process, involving many committee meetings, two public participation forums, a staff retreat and a lot of bench-marking, was the creation of an Athletics restructuring proposal which was formally approved by the Dexter Board of Education at their Jan. 13 meeting.
Board President Michael Wendorf commented before the vote that is a “testament to the process” that there were no public attendees present at the meeting to further discuss or debate the topic.
Following a motion to approve the proposal, Trustee Barbara Read started discussion saying she is mostly in “strong support” of everything listed, except for the pay to participate fees. She suggested that the correct time to set these fees is at the end of the fiscal year, when the Board has a better idea of what money is still available in the budget which could possibly lower the fees.
Read asked that the Board remove the section of the proposal detailing pay to participate fees and vote only on the other sections. She stated several times that she would like to vote yes on the proposal, but couldn’t due to the fee schedule.
Trustee Daryl Kipke countered saying that Read had previously made this same point, the Board had discussed it and the proposal is now an action item.
Board Treasurer Dick Lundy stated that passing the proposal now gives the District information for setting next year’s budget, and that waiting until the end of the 2019-20 fiscal year doesn’t really help. Trustee Greatorex added she had looked at other districts and Dexter’s proposed fees aren’t out of the ordinary in comparison.
For one-sport athletes, the change makes no difference. Club sport athletes will most likely end up paying less with the new fee structure, which creates an opportunity for more students to play club sports.
Read asked once more if they could take the fee out, to which Wendorf replied, “no; we’ve been through the process and it’s time to move forward,” thus calling the vote. The restructuring proposal passed 5-1.
The full proposal presentation can be found on the DCS website