Prepared Text for Board Meeting – August 13, 2007 – Baseball/Softball.

Marc A. Schare  

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Today, we consider the proposal to add 8th grade baseball and softball to the roster of cocurricular activities. When we first started considering this proposal, I asked for two things. First, I asked that we fund this pilot program using interest on the Pepsi money and second, I and others asked for a comprehensive review of the cocurricular program. Both elements are present in this proposal and so I will be supporting this item.


I wanted to add for the record why I felt these items were important and to clear up some misconceptions.


Why use interest on the Pepsi money? First, Worthington taxpayers should not be confused. Interest on the Pepsi money is general fund money because it is unrestricted and because it is unrestricted, it can be transferred into the general fund at will. We can spend those dollars on anything.  As I mentioned at the July 9th meeting, I am loathe to spend money on new sports programs and MS Baseball/Softball is hardly the highest unfunded priority in the district, so why go along with this?


While Pepsi money and the interest thereof is equivalent to general fund money, it is not taxpayer money. Furthermore, there is evidence that the original intent of the Pepsi money was to promote and enhance the athletic program, therefore, using the money for this purpose is not inconsistent.


The administration’s willingness to undertake a comprehensive review of the cocurricular program is critical for the district and our ability to make data-driven decisions about sports. If the impetus for this review is the permanent addition and possible expansion of baseball and softball at the middle school level, so be it.


Finally, this pilot program is possible because of  the cooperation and support from the Worthington Youth Boosters, and by support, I mean financial support, experience, equipment donations and time. What a fantastic partnership we have with WYB and is my hope that in the years to come, that partnership grow even stronger.