The effects of pay-to-play on high school sports

August 22, 2012

Experts take a look at the effects on families and students when high schools charge them to play sports.

Sarah Clark, research assistant professor for the University of Michigan, and Arizona Republic columnist Scott Bordow agree that charging students to play sports can have negative effects. Clark says a study found 20 percent of households with a yearly income less than $60,000 said they felt the effects of having to pay more for sports participation.

Bordow says schools in less wealthy areas see a decrease in participation when there’s a participation fee, even when waivers are available. Clark says that families who don’t qualify for waivers may need help, too, but aren’t getting the attention they need. She says kids get more than physical activity from sports, the also learn how to work hard toward their goals. Bordow says a lot of parents realize the importance of sports and still manage to find creative ways to have their kids participate despite fees.

Nick Blumberg interviews Bob Cook, who writes the "Your Kid's Not Going Pro" blog.

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