Antonio Saenz (center) and teacher Chuck Mullen (right, dark jacket) at meeting of parents, teachers and students in Frazier Mountain Park May 16 to consider how to take action to save sports programs in El Tejon Unified School District. [Tony Levesque photo]
Next Meeting is at FMHS Monday, May 23 at 6-8 p.m.
Reported by Tony Levesque,
TME Student Intern
About 40 people showed up to a planning meeting near the soccer fields in Frazier Mountain Park on Monday, May 16 (about 25 adults and 15 students). Many were concerned parents, eager to share their thoughts and ideas about what they should do to keep “our sports.”
Student athlete Antonio Saenz has been coordinating events. Many ideas were considered. One was that each player could contribute $200 per year to ride the buses to the “away games.” A man who said he was from Pine Mountain said the loss of the school sports programs could lower the value of homes in the area.
People seemed surprised and shocked that the El Tejon Unified School Board (ETUSD) was considering cutting sports. [Almost $1.4 million in state funding is expected to be lost from the school’s budget next year, due to tumbling enrollment and state cutbacks.] The group seemed very upset.
“Our main goal for now is to make sure that we will have varsity teams next year,” Antonio Saenz said, “and then we should work on getting our junior varsity teams organized once we have earned enough money.” [Trustees and parents were told at the May 11 ETUSD Board meeting that about $81,000 might be cut from the sports budget.]
Chuck Mullen of Frazier Park (a 23-year teacher and coach who just received a ‘pink slip’) said, “Parents, teachers, students and all staff members need to work together and get involved. We need to attend the board meetings and speak to the board members to tell them what we want and get them to do what we voted them in for, to help our community.”
Parent and assistant coach Wade Jones said he would like to see, “more stability with the sports programs and more communication with the board members.” He said he wants to see exactly where the money is going and what the future holds. There will be another meeting on Monday, May 23 at 6-8 p.m. in the Frazier Mountain High School gym. Everyone is invited to attend, the organizers said. (Because events are moving quickly, please check back here for the latest confirmation on the meeting time and location).
Additional reporting by P. Hedlund
This is part of the May 20, 2011 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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