Thanks to a last minute budget agreement, the Harrisburg School District, located in downtown Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was able to save the kindergarten program. Though a majority of the kindergarten teachers will not be with the district next year, there will still be a kindergarten program offered. However, the band and sports programs are still up in the air. There is no money in the school's budget for any of the sports teams and there is no money in the budget for the band program. However, parents and students can sleep well knowing that there will still be an athletic program and band. The school district has a plan.
Though the athletic programs are generally budgeted to cost more than $350,000 and the band generally is budgeted to receive more than $20,000, the school district plans to charge each participating student $100. It has been estimated that the school district has approximately 450 participants when all programs are put together. This means that the students, if all money is pooled together, will bring in around $45,000. This is well short of the approximately $370,000 needed. For the approximately $325,000 shortfall, the school will be depending on donations. The district is hoping that businesses in the community and community leaders will open their wallets to help the children.
It seems that some are already donating, or planning to donate to help the sports and band programs. The alumni association has dedicated its profits of a food fundraiser to the sports program and another local alum has decided to hold a private fundraiser. The private fundraiser will provide the school with a donation of at least $25,000, the alum has promised. If individuals do not donate that much, then the alum will cover the difference.
With more than 80% of the students in the district eligible for a free or lower price lunch, the district serves one of the poorer areas of central Pennsylvania. For a family struggling to pay bills, $100 may not be a reasonable fee. Sports can help keep kids off the streets and help them get into college. Though they may not be as important as academics, the sports programs are still important to students and to some students' futures. The school district still has time to come up with the money, but with everyone feeling the pinch in the poor economy, it may be difficult to come up with more than $300,000.