ARLINGTON – Athletic fees of $100 in high school and $50 in middle school are being dropped in Arlington.
The school board decided against pay to play at a recent meeting.
Participation fees were first charged about a decade ago when school districts were experiencing financial hardship during the recession. Many districts charged fees to avoid cuts in athletic programs. In Arlington, the fees were collected primarily to defray transportation costs.
Superintendent Chrys Sweeting said eliminating the fee removes a barrier for some students, making the opportunity more equitable.
The district is already doing that in other areas.
“Since 2016-17, the district has paid for school supplies to ensure all Arlington students have access to tools necessary for learning,” she said.
Athletic director Tom Roys said studies show students who participate in sports do better in school – with better attendance, graduation rates, assessment scores and lower dropout rates.
“The elimination of the athletic fee is one more way the district is helping to provide opportunities for students,” he said.