Deficit Target: Sports in the Crosshairs

So there is a story out of Florida that has been making the rounds on some actual news stations recently; it appears that at least in Duval county (there are probably others considering this option) there is a budget shortfall that is forcing the county board of education to consider cuts to the sports program to make up the difference. Naturally there some people up in arms over it, claiming that sports are a valuable resource for students and going as far as to say that even contemplating cutting the sports program would be “disrespectful to the citizens of Duval County”.

Where in the hell do these people come up with the nonsense idea that sports programs give that much to the students; it only gives any direct benefit to the players on the teams by making them visible to college recruiters. Sure there is probably a little scratch money made from concession sales and tickets, but I seriously doubt that it comes anywhere near even one tenth of the 97 Million that the county spends on the sports program.

Another angle used when trying to play the woe-is-them card is that there are some 15 thousand student “athletes” in the county who would find themselves without a team to play on if the sports program were completely done away with. I hate to be the jerk on this one but first and foremost they are students and thusly their primary concern should in fact be studying, learning and demonstrating what they have learned not watching their weight for wrestling weigh-in or warming up for their daily football practice.

Earlier this month the AP released an article indicating that by Department of Education standards for reaching proficiency in mathematics and writing were not being met by some 82% of the schools in America. Think about that for a second, if we were to apply that percentage to the number of schools based on the 2000 Census (130,000 elementary and secondary schools) data that would work out to 106,600 schools that didn’t teach their students how to read, write and do basic math. How the hell people aren’t absolutely furious about this is beyond me, if I were a parent I would demand better of the educators that were paid with my tax dollars but it seems the ignorant unwashed masses are more concerned about Little Johnny getting to play on the varsity football team than him knowing that 2 + 2 in fact is 4 and not 5. Its no wonder our society as a whole is in the shitter when we ignore whats really important and reinforce dimwitted penis-measuring contests like school sports.