High School Sports

It will likely cost more for Paso students to play

It may soon cost students at Paso Robles High nearly seven times more money to play sports at the school.

Earlier this month, the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District approved sweeping budget cuts in light of a $7.8 million shortfall stemming from the state’s fiscal crisis.

Among other measures, sports were drastically impacted, as teams’ transportation funding was cut 50 percent (following a 12 percent cut the previous year), in addition to stipends for all coaches being eliminated, triggering massive uncertainty for how the school may be able to fund comparable sports programs in the future.

On Wednesday, Paso Robles’ athletic department released its first estimate of what athletes and their families may be obligated to pay from now on in order to compensate for the cuts.

“The burden of support for our athletic program is going to fall on the families of the athletes of Paso Robles High School,” a department-issued news release read. “Estimates of the cost to play sports at Paso Robles range from $250 to $400 per sport per athlete.”

Students at the school have recently had to pay $60 per sport in transportation fees, with a $120 cap allowed per family per year.

“I want to get the word out to parents in the community that this is what it’s going to cost (barring any unforeseen changes),” Paso Robles athletic director Mark Rose said. “We just want parents to know in advance what’s coming down the pike (so they can start saving if necessary).”

The cuts were proposed in January, and the school’s athletic department had been waiting until they were approved in order to begin specific strategizing for how the losses could be made up for.