Archive for Thursday, March 10, 2011

School board hears BHS girls soccer program proposal

Mary Lisa Joslyn advocates for the start of a girls soccer program at BHS in the spring of 2012 at Monday’s USD 348 Board of Education meeting. She told the board, which made no decision on the proposal, there would be no start-up cost to the district for the program.

Mary Lisa Joslyn advocates for the start of a girls soccer program at BHS in the spring of 2012 at Monday’s USD 348 Board of Education meeting. She told the board, which made no decision on the proposal, there would be no start-up cost to the district for the program.

March 10, 2011

Baldwin High School might have one more athletic team during the 2012 spring season.

In fall 2005, BHS played its first soccer game. It was a co-ed team and has been for six seasons. Next year, that may change.

Mary Lisa Joslyn, wife of BHS soccer coach Mark Joslyn, made a pitch for girls soccer Monday to the USD 348 Board of Education. Joslyn presented the idea of creating a BHS girls soccer program next year.

“So why should we offer high school girls soccer at USD 348?” Joslyn asked the school board. “As I’ve mentioned, we have the opportunity to compete. Our female students-athletes deserve a chance to compete with and against their peers. We also have the numbers, I’ve shown that.”

During her presentation, Joslyn explained the reasons for adding the program and how it will be fully funded for the first three years. With the interest in a program, starting girls soccer was an issue of gender equality, she said.

Joslyn surveyed girls at BHS and Baldwin Junior High School last week. A total of 47 BHS girls, not including the senior class, were interested in playing on a girls soccer program next year. There were 34 BJHS girls interested.

“We have 54 students who have shown an interest in girls spring soccer next year,” Joslyn said. “Let’s just say that next spring, half of this group decides the really want to play. That’s 27 girls and that would be more than enough for a full team. It also clearly demonstrates there is an interest in girls soccer. There’s even a continuing interest if you look at the sixth-grade numbers.”

Parents paid for the soccer program when it started in 2005, and the girls program would be no different.

Joslyn said the cost of the coach would be about $2,790, transportation about $936 and officials about $2,640. She explained USD 348 wouldn’t pay any of the total.

“Clearly, in today’s world, we must demonstrate a fiscal responsibility, which you are all very familiar with,” Joslyn said. “Currently through donations, we have the first-year costs covered. We have a group of parents committed to fundraising enough money to cover the sliding scale as outlined in the district policy.

“We have already raised $3,500 for this. We have $2,000 per year times three years pledged from local businesses. We have a Maple Leaf booth and a goal of making $2,000. I also have an anonymous donor who will donate up to $2,000 to cover our costs. I’ve also had $350 show up at my front door this week.”

Her final reason for advocating the program was equal opportunity for girls to play soccer. Other schools that have a girls soccer program, play their games in the spring, while the boys play in the fall.

“It’s about more than developing a program,” Joslyn said. “It’s about the opportunity to compete. The fall sport is not co-ed. According to the KSHSAA, fall soccer is called boys soccer, not co-ed soccer. Furthermore, this is not offering an opportunity for the female student athletes.”

Joslyn added that 4,158 boys played soccer in the fall in Kansas. Of the 101 girls those same teams, 12 were from Baldwin and more than a dozen were from Eudora.

The Cardinals are in a similar situation as Baldwin as they are considering adding a girls soccer program. The Frontier League schools with girls soccer teams are De Soto, Ottawa and Spring Hill. Eudora and Louisburg have toyed with the idea. Other area schools with programs include Tonganoxie, Gardner, Mill Valley, Basehor-Linwood, Lansing and Topeka-Hayden.

Joslyn had support at the school board meeting. More than half of a dozen BHS girls’soccer players and nearly a dozen parents attended the meeting to show support for the program.

There was no discussion by the school board Monday night, but the topic is expected to be on the April 11 agenda.

Comments

Torch 3 years, 9 months ago

Good idea.

I'm curious how many sports there are now at Baldwin. How many boys sports and how many girls?

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greyghost 3 years, 9 months ago

"It's for the kids!"

Right, Torch? You POS hypocrite.

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greyghost 3 years, 9 months ago

Pick a personality and stick with it. Jesus.

Next thing you know Torch will want to buy the old elementary school gym for the Rec. Department. As if the our local economy can withstand this flagrant use of tax dollars. We are in a recession people! There is no more money!

I remember when we were kids, we didn't have all of these fancy soccer teams for both girls and boys. We just played tag in a corn maze. Kids don't need these things. They couldn't care less about how they learn physical education.

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Bakerboy25 3 years, 9 months ago

Great Idea, but how could anyone think about spending more dollars today. We have no idea how much we will have for schools, let alone adding a sport. Yes they will fund the program for 3 years but then who has to pick it up then, the schools. We really need to look at cutting a couple of sports and reducing asst. coaches in some sports. If we have a title nine issue then we should look at cutting a boys sport, that is what is happening in the colleges, they are not adding anything, I think Baldwin should follow that lead. Once you add a sport it is difficult to get rid of the program, I would really like to see the school board take a wait and see approach for a couple of years and see how the state funding might change. Folks the budget is serious this not add to the problem.

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murrayslanding 3 years, 9 months ago

I generally agree with Bakerboy's sentiments, but there's a trade-off here to consider. My kids are serious soccer players, and we would move them to another school if soccer was not available in Baldwin. Soccer is a big part of their lives, and they are good students. The lost per student state funding for losing just a couple of dedicated soccer players to another school would likely cost more than the entire soccer budget. One of the main reasons we are here and not at Bishop Seabury is because of the soccer program. Additionally, we plan to be supporters of the soccer program now and well beyond the initial three-year program.

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Stacy Napier 3 years, 9 months ago

It is pretty sad that you choose a school based on what sports you want to play. Are they going to go up and be a professonal soccer player? This town focuses too much on sports and not enough on smarts.

Think back to your school days. How many of those great players in highschool sports are making a living playing that sport?

You should be worrying about what your child learns that will help her excell in college and in a job later. Sure they learn team work and sportsman ship, but they can get the same experience at any sporting league.

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bulldogbc 3 years, 9 months ago

This has weighed heavy on our family for years. I have a daughter who enjoys soccer and has been playing for years. We have been questioning if we will stay in the district when she enters high school if there is not a girls soccer team. She wants to play soccer on a all girls team and we will not deny her of that. Soccer is becoming more popular in the rural areas. The district will lose several student athletes with out the existence of a girls soccer program.

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Julie Craig 3 years, 9 months ago

There are many good soccer leagues outside of the public school systems. My experience is that the high school sports seasons are short and the staff coaches can't devote their full attention to the sport while teaching or doing their other jobs. Your girls will have better opportunities finding a league to play in instead of strapping another sport to USD 348. It sounds like you would have plenty of interest from other BHS girls and their parents.

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murrayslanding 3 years, 9 months ago

Actually, league play is another reason to push for a girls team. Girls leagues outside of the school system play in the fall, so Baldwin girls have to choose to either play on their high school coed team or play on a girls team in an outside soccer league. There are no leagues for girls in the spring because most Kansas girls are playing with their high school teams. So, while most girls play spring and fall soccer, Baldwin girls will only have the opportunity to play in the fall on either their school team or their league team. Boys do not have to make that choice. They play with their high schools in the fall and with their league teams in the spring.

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Torch 3 years, 9 months ago

I'm not thrilled with increasing spending either...but with the cost being born by the parents and donors in the near-term there isn't as much risk. I would assume that the District's insurance policy would cover the sport without additional cost.

This is how junior high football and high school baseball were also started. Over time the school took over the cost of the football...not sure about baseball.

In my opinion there can never be too many sports offered. I think people would be surprised at how low the budget for them is (as a percentage of the total) and frankly my children got more life-relevant experience out of sports than they did the classroom.

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Bakerboy25 3 years, 9 months ago

I agree that sports are a important part of a childs education, my point is DOLLARS, were do we get them. If we need to add another sport then we need to drop a sport that has low numbers. People, we are going to have less money next year than this year and less the year after that. The cuts are going to be deep just to get us thru the 2011-12 school year, so if we add we need to subtract simple Budget 101. We have made decisions like this for years, it will not cost anything for 3 years, then in 3 years what do we do at time. My point is think about every dollar we spend current and future.

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murrayslanding 3 years, 9 months ago

In three years, if there is enough interest, I have no doubt that private sponsors and/or parents will keep the program going if the district cannot. Girls soccer should at least have a chance, especially when there is no financial risk to the district for three years.

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1776attorney 3 years, 9 months ago

How about the idea that even bringing this idea up now is in extremely poor taste and devoid of respect for the over-extended taxpayers in Baldwin City, especially the elderly who are selling their homes and moving because they can no longer afford their property taxes.

Sometimes I wonder what planet the superintendent and these people exist on. After shuttering the 2 rural schools to save money along with the new state budget that will cut another $50 million from schools next year, we get these pie-in-the-sky proposals.

This proposal is like the Federal governments big scam of handing out money to hire more police and teachers for 2 years, then the localities have to pick up the cost thereafter. Most times they can't afford it.

In this case, it's an easy selling point to pay for the team costs for a few years after which it's almost impossible to cancel the program and then stick the additional costs on the taxpayers.

Keep in mind that the school board fired all the school librarians last year and dumped hundreds of students into the city library system. Here we are not able to afford library services in our schools, but we now want to pay for more athletic teams. How twisted is this idea?

With the slimy way this school board and superintendent have conducted certain business these past few years, let's see how long it takes before they announce they're hiring a new $60,000 a year athletic director. Say it loud and clear to the Vinland and Marion Springs parents.

There is a time and place for everything, and wisdom says this is not the time for this idea.

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Stacy Napier 3 years, 9 months ago

For once we agree on something. How can anyone go on about the fact that their girls don't get to play their sport in school when they don't even have Librarians.

I have an idea for all you sports idiots. Why don't we get rid of the english dept in all the schools and then we can add several more sports. You already speak english at home right? If you children are going to be sports players when they grow up there really don't need english skills anyway.

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murrayslanding 3 years, 9 months ago

I resent anyone calling someone an "idiot". It is not a constructive dialogue when we resort to name-calling.

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true_bulldog 3 years, 9 months ago

Ouch. We speak English in our house. Yes, that's English. Get it right, dude, before you cut the program.

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Stacy Napier 3 years, 9 months ago

The point was sarcasm about cutting english so we could have sports. I guess you must have missed that in your education. It makes it almost ironic.

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murrayslanding 3 years, 9 months ago

I'll let you explain that to the 20+ girls in the district who do not have the opportunity that the vast majority of Kansas girls, and frankly girls across the country, have to play the sport that they love. I don't think they care about the politics of the situation. I believe this is a very responsible way to address an unmet need in the district. I am EXTREMELY sensitive to taxpayers in the area, but I don't believe the entire district can sit on their hands to avoid offending taxpayers for the immediate future. No one is suggesting that this cannot be reevaluated in three years if the district cannot cover the costs of the program. Keep in mind that we are talking about an entire budget of around $5000. Parents and private funding could continue paying for it if need be. You can count on several families leaving the district and losing their per student state funding if the district was so closed minded to an idea that will not cost the district anything for three years. That does not seem very responsible just to avoid offending anyone.

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Slade 3 years, 9 months ago

In three years, debt service borne by the district will be $2,756,798. State aid, if it still exists, in addition to motor vehicle revenue would calculate to $891,549. The district hasn't yet paid one penny in principal off the 2008 and 2009 series bonds.

Wants and needs are different things. We don't seem to understand that around here. On a personal level, I need air, food, water. But I want quite a few other things. If I too greatly confuse my wants and needs, I personally go broke. Collective confusion about the district's financial situation is dangerous to our community right now.

For the record, I am 100% behind girls' soccer, as long as it is fully self-supporting until our outstanding bond issues are paid. That year is 2030. If there is sufficient support from the community, I'm sure we can find a way to make that happen.

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Stacy Napier 3 years, 9 months ago

If there is sufficient support from the community, I can tell you how to make that happen. It's called Parks and Rec.

Slade is 100% correct, and if everyone here keeps running this district into the ground we will end up part the Lawrence District. Then you can have all the sports you want. Too bad your child won't learn anything though.

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1776attorney 3 years, 9 months ago

It's a very simple, responsible financial theory practiced by most families........If you can't afford it, you don't buy it.

This isn't against girls or soccer or families or soccer balls. It's about being more responsible and managing all taxpayer money in a professional way. Something that has been severely lacking for many years.

The community is in this financial situation for several reasons- the recession, the poor decision in hindsight of building new, expensive schools, the idea of our newer (and welcome) citizens that we can be just like Johnson Country and afford unlimited of luxuries, the forgotten idea that school is for learning as a primary priority, and the appearance of a dysfunctional and dishonest superintendent and school board.

The incompetent way the baseball field storage building was handled is just one example.

Every aspect of the school system in Baldwin City has the appearance of cronyism and political insider deals, from the slimy way the new athletic complex was named to the lack of independence of the board of directors of the Baldwin Education Foundation.

The state has now announced an education budget cut of $50 million next year. Let's see if this time around the school board and administration can anticipate this and do a better job of planning and management that they lacked a year into the great recession.

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murrayslanding 3 years, 9 months ago

Once again, I say that no one is asking the district to pay for anything at this point. And, since we have resorted to name-calling and online bickering, I am finished contributing. This is no longer a constructive discussion.

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BaldwinDad 3 years, 9 months ago

The fact is that the $3,500 that it will cost is coming from private donors. as long as the district makes sure they cover ALL the costs including insurance then I don't have a problem with it. Also not for the first 3 years but for as long as the program is in existence, should be the same for all sports in the district at this time, but it's not.

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1776attorney 3 years, 9 months ago

The important part of your contribution is "no one is asking the district to pay for anything 'at this point' ". In 2 years, after it is too late and the political will (wisdom) is lacking, the taxpayers will in fact "be forced" to pay for this program.

No one is saying the program is good or bad, this conversation is about the insensitivity of proposing it now and the lack of wisdom in doing so. Given the poor management and distrust of the school board and administration over the past few years, taxpayers are fed up with the raising property taxes. When we hear new, optional spending proposals, not associated with learning (the primary function of schools), it's a little insulting, to say the least.

When the school district is eliminating their library system and "dumping" it on the city library and city taxpayers, proposing new non-educational programs sounds somewhat out of touch with reality.

It is irrelevant what any other school district does or can afford. Those interested players and parents should direct their blame and anger at the superintendent and school board for getting us in this situation. Blaming taxpayers for not wanting to fork over more money for a small group's special interest is misplaced and inappropriate.

Your contributions are worthy. However, I don't read any name-calling here. Most contributors are discussing issues and facts. Just because contributors do not agree with you, does not make them wrong or prone to "bickering". That's how "Comments" should work.

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BaldwinDad 3 years, 9 months ago

I just love the parents that are talking about leaving a district so their kid can play a game. I will tell you the same thing all the people on the boards told the parents that said they would leave if they closed the rural schools... Go on and Leave then.

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Nathaniel Johnson 3 years, 9 months ago

I would generally not post in favor of yet another sports team but I think that girls soccer is in a different category. Other than cross-country, there are no other aerobic sports for girls in the fall. While I very much support cross country as a sport and in our district, especially owing to wonderful coaches, many girls will not participate due to its individual nature. There is, of course, volleyball, a great team sport but not one that is aerobically challenging. Soccer encourages many of the qualities we like to see among our teens: cooperation, competition, teamwork, focused aggression, and aerobic fitness. With parents and businesses funding the first three years, I don't see any reason not to do it. Seven to ten thousand a year for a program that is widely desired is not something to make a fiscal stink about.

Nathaniel Johnson gruyere.emmentaler@gmail.com

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Nathaniel Johnson 3 years, 9 months ago

A considerate response by a fellow poster made me aware of the fact that the girls would play in the Spring rather than the Fall, a point made clear in the HEADLINE. Such are the dangers of opinions, especially, mine. It doesn't change my support of girls soccer but I was glad for the thoughtful response by Slade Dillon.

Nathaniel Johnson

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Torch 3 years, 9 months ago

Fascinating how times change.

Just a few years ago - despite the warnings of several people - this town tied an anchor around its neck and passed a $23 million death sentence....and now all of a sudden we can't let parents and donors fund a soccer team?

Fascinating.

One thing that no one has bothered mentioning is how much of the 'promised' matching funds from the State ever showed up. Remember that? Part of the big sales pitch was that the State was going to chip in something like $7 million so we 'wouldn't have to pay all of the bill." How much of that ever showed up? Was it another bill of goods?

Search the site and go back to the articles. I've asked the question before but no one has been able to answer me. I think I already know - nothing showed up from the state and the entire burden of this ridiculous school expansion is around the necks of us, our children, and likely our grand children. Those of you who voted for it should be proud.

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Bloggerboo 3 years, 9 months ago

When I prove you wrong on this, Torch, will you finally shut up about it? The bond issue has only very modestly affected this town's pocketbook, and yet it has come in under budget in most areas, and at a lower interest rate than initially planned. I will find the amount the state paid, or is currently paying, and get back to you.

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BaldwinDad 3 years, 9 months ago

Absolutely mind blowing that here we are still mired in a depression and people are wanting to ask their school district to add on and support another frivolous expenditure that all in all will only benefit something like what 2% of the entire student body.

It really is shameful...specially given all the cries we had last year about how all those poor kids in High School that don't have updated text books(proven false) or teachers aren't getting paid enough and that the buildings are falling apart, but for anyone to have the gall to stand up in front of the board and ask that they add another sports program is mind blowing.

I realize that supposedly for the first 3 years it wont cost the district anything, but the idea is still appalling given what this district went through last year with agreed upon cutting of the budget to early education.

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