The high school football tax

You may not be paying more in property taxes, but if you have a kid in public school, or maybe if you just know someone who has a kid in public school, you’re probably paying more for something.

High school football budgets have apparently been cut (surprise! I know, I’m shocked, too) and players and trainers have been given empty envelopes to give and mail to family members who are supposed to fill the envelope with money, and mail back to the child. The money will cover some of the gaps in the athletic budget.

Yeah, I’m not kidding. If this sounds like private school, and not public school, you and I are thinking the same thing. Also, this does not sound like equity because schools that are high poverty are not going to be able to cover budgets with parental cash in envelopes.

So, while school board members can claim they did not raise taxes, parents who can count will realize the school is reaching into their pocketbooks, same as if taxes had been increased.

And it’s not just for football, though that’s clearly the sexiest item on the list. You may think this is fine and that kids and their parents should be paying for stuff like this, but bear in mind that the list of items for which students are now being made to pay includes things like paper. The lawyers who are working on that next school finance lawsuit will no doubt document many more such examples.

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