By Eleanor Chute / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
An increasing number of school districts are charging fees for students to participate in athletics and various extracurricular activities, according to the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.
The PSBA said today that nearly one of three school districts that responded to a survey indicated they are charging “pay to play” fees. Of the 500 school districts in the state, 128 answered the survey.
When the last survey was taken in 2010 13 percent of respondents said they charged the fees.
The statewide average fee is $65 per sport per student but ranges from $10 to $250, according to the PSBA.
In addition, 13 percent of districts said financial reasons caused them to reduce or eliminate athletics in the last year.
“The significant increase of districts using pay-to-play from just two years ago illustrates how continued cuts to education funding are impacting students and their families,” Todd Hosterman, senior research associate with PSBA and author of the study, said in a prepared statement.
The survey indicated fees are spread fairly evenly across the state with school in 20 of 67 counties. Only one urban district said it charged fees.
Click here to read the PSBA’s Pay -to- Play Survey (April 2012).