Letters to the Editor

Pay-to-pay issue is misleading in JV soccer debate

In a letter to the Mirror (March 5, “High school soccer is cheated by not having JV teams”), a coach with the Federal Way school district made the statement, “I know cost is always brought up. But now kids have to pay to play. Cost shouldn’t be too much of an issue if kids are playing to pay.”

This statement is misleading. First, the amount the students are paying does not cover the cost of what the district pays to provide the sport. Second, other districts may have JV (junior varsity) soccer, but they also have and have had “pay for play” fees higher then the ones in Federal Way.

Third, how many students would be willing to “pay for play” if the fees did pay the full cost for the sport?

The play for pay fees were started to help with a funding shortfall in the district budget. The district held off increases in the fees the next year when the budget picture looked better.

JV soccer was not funded last year because a choice was made to spend the money on programs that supported student achievement.

Budget choices are hard, I know, because I have volunteered for the past three years on the school district’s budget committee. I agree that we have students who want a JV soccer program. Do they need one? That is not my choice to make. I just ask that when requests like these are made, they come with suggestions of where to make the cuts in the budget to fund them.

Suzanne Smith


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