Senator Recommends Districts use "Self-Reflection" to Reduce Pay-to-Play Fees

It has been repeatedly demonstrated that the biggest impediment to a student's school achievement is the poverty level to which that student is exposed. It's why public education advocates have called for an equitable funding system so that students in districts with high levels of poverty can have access to the same opportunities as their more prosperous brethren.

One of the ways this inequity shows up is in pay-to-play fees. Only the students with parents who can afford to pay get to play. Pay-to-play fees have become an increasing mainstay as districts have had to find ways of dealing with budget cuts, especially state cuts, without affecting "core curriculum".

Senator Cliff Hite (R) has released findings stemming from a statewide tour that garnered community insights on participation fees for extra- and co-curricular activities in Ohio schools. The full white paper can be read here.

Here's the 1 page sumary

Sen. Hite had this to say about his report

We can all agree on one thing: extra- and co-curricular activities play an important role in the overall development of students, both inside and outside the classroom. It was important that we heard from all impacted parties in order to best address this issue as the goal has always been to ensure Ohio’s students are given the greatest opportunities to succeed now and throughout their lives.

While we can applaud Sen. Hite for promoting this issue, it's frustrating that the single best solution to this problem, and one which the General Assembly of which he is a member has the greatest control is not mentioned. The General Assembly should increase funding to public schools, and do so in an equitable way.

Instead we have the recommendation that schools should "self-reflect", which frankly is a pathetic recommendation that will lead to no changes. Self reflection doesn't pay for education - money does.