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Springfield City Schools Suspends Pay to Play Fees for Athletics

The Springfield School Board voted Thursday night to suspend pay-to-play fees for student athletes.  The suspension of fees will be for three years and families who have already paid fees for this year will be reimbursed.

Superintendent Dr. David Estrop says the district's decision to suspend fees for three years is due in large part to the community’s support in May of a 2.2-mill bond levy. Athletes have been paying up to $150 to play sports at the middle and high school levels.

Estrop believes that by eliminating the pay to play fees, more student-athletes from economically challenged backgrounds will have a chance to participate in sports.

Financial difficulties in  2008, led the school board to decide that middle school students would have to pay $50 per sport and high schoolers would be charged $100. There was a $150 annual cap per family. The annual cost of running the athletic department is $48,000.

The school board decided to suspend fees for three years, because it will give them time to see if the district can afford it under a new state budget, since Ohio’s current budget plan expires in two years.