There's little doubt that there is strong moral support for middle school competitive sports, but if Dr. Peter Gorman has his way the budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year will eliminate the program.
Last night Gorman's proposal brought together a group as odd as the never ending comedy movie squeal gag known as "Meet the Fockers".
First up Tripp Roakes owner/publisher/salesman for the advertising rag South Charlotte Sports Report who is promoting charging parents for children partaking in middle school sports. On the surface not a bad idea.
At last night's meeting Roakes suggested that CMS should at least triple the $50 "pay to play" fee for middle-school sports, noting that many private leagues charge $200 or more.
Then there was the brilliance of Rhonda Lennon who said:
"There's no reason we can't be frying fish and cooking pigs on the weekends to raise money for sports," which makes you wonder where Lennon has been all these years.
Maybe they don't realize the amount of funds that are raised every year by parents and booster clubs every year. Maybe they don't understand the fees that are paid by parents over and over again.
The trouble does not begin with parents who have been unwilling to pay to play or cook pancakes on a Saturday morning. The reason we are in such dire straights is nothing more than politics. For years the Charlotte Mecklenburg school board has mismanaged its budget process. They have squandered money on "new schools" letting older schools rot. They have miscalculated the growth and failed to maximize the return on investment.
If you charted the growth of Charlotte over the last 20 years and the CMS budget who would notice that the CMS out paced growth almost by 3% annually. So if was only a matter of time before this house of cards came crashing down.
The solution lies with the Mecklenburg County taxpayers who need to step up and pay for middle school sports. The longer term solution also lies with the taxpayers who need to do a better job of keeping tabs on their elected CMS board members and County Commissioners.
It may be time to carve up the CMS school system as it has become a "too big to fail" monster.
Clearly the process of government has been mismanaged and now we are paying the price.