Athletics and academics were the topics at tonight's Montgomery County school board meeting.
At the end of September, the $417,000 the city of Montgomery gives the school board to fund the middle school athletic program, will be gone. The board is now figuring out a way to make up the difference.
"We consolidated a few coaching positions. We added a fee. We increased it by 15 dollars," said Superintendent Barbara Thompson.
Each student will have to pay a total of 50 dollars to participate in a sport.
The proposal also includes eliminating the competitive golf team which would save $67,000.
"That really bothered me because golf is one of those sports that you've got to keep playing. It's going to make me sad to know that we are not offering golf as a middle school sport next year," said board member, Melissa Snowden.
Thompson says golf will still be taught in gym class and those who want to play competitively can play up at the high school level. With these proposed changes, spending on middle school athletics will be reduced to about $270,000.
While talking cost cuts to athletics, the board voted to begin classes at a new school in the fall, The Montgomery Technical Educational Center. It will be located in the former McIntyre Middle School building and initially house about 300 students who want to pursue careers in carpentry, welding, plumbing, or HVAC.
"We are planning now to finalize those plans, look at the number of students that are looking at each category, staffing, remodeling. We are definitely on the fast track as we talk about opening August 2012," said Thompson.
It will cost three-million dollars to complete renovations to the technical school by the start of next fall and that money will come from federal funds.
As for cost cuts to middle school athletics, those are just proposed changes. The board will make a final decision in the next couple of weeks.