Jon Fox to Duval County School Board…Cut lacrosse, keep bowling!

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The Duval County School board has agreed to cut $25 million for the annual budget and they are now hard-pressed to figure out ways to do that.  One way is to cut the supplement funding to various programs like music, sports, and other programs.

The District Athletic Director, Jon Fox, was asked to provide a list of sports that he thought should continue to receive district supplements (funding) and which ones he felt should be cut.  That list is below.

As you can see, boys and girls lacrosse are not sports that Mr. Fox felt should continue to be funded.  As far as IFL can determine there was no rational asked for or provided as to how Mr. Fox arrived at his list.  We couldn’t help but wonder if Mr. Fox is a bowler.  The bowling supplement, for example, costs $198 per participant.  Boys and Girls lacrosse costs the district only $188 per participant.  If you would like to ask Mr. Fox how he arrived at his list he can be contacted at 904-858-6142.

We feel it’s important to point out that the combined total expense to the District for funding boys and girl’s lacrosse is $69,598.00, or roughly one quarter of one percent of the $25 million the board has committed to cutting from the budget.  We think some in the lacrosse community might want to encourage the Duval County Board of Education to find their one quarter of one percent cut elsewhere.

If the Board cuts the supplement funding for some of the sports, as well as the after school transportation these athletes rely on, that doesn’t necessarily mean the end of lacrosse in Duval County.  It just means the end of paying for lacrosse in Duval County.  You would have to pick up the tab through pay to play programs.  But you can’t just volunteer to coach, that would present liability issues for the Board.  So they don’t’ want to pay a

The Honorable W.C. Gentry

coach, but they don’t’ want you to volunteer to coach either.  Board Member Gentry did offer one reason to cut the funding for sports instead of the arts.  He said he felt it would be “easier to get the community to help fund sports than to help fund arts.” 

The board will be meeting again on May 27th for further discussion on the matter.  You may want to contact the board members in advance of that meeting and let them know how you feel about their proposed budget cuts and to ask questions.  Their contact information is here http://www.duvalschools.org/static/aboutdcps/schoolboard/overview.asp.   One board member, Becki Couch, is already against the proposal. 

We highly recommend that everyone who is interested in seeing lacrosse in North Florida continue to grow and not become marginalized by bureaucrats  go to Topher Sander’s blog of the meeting and become familiar with the process and then contact the board members as well as Mr. Fox, the bowler.   A direct link to Mr. Sander’s blog post is below.

http://jacksonville.com/opinion/blog/400753/topher-sanders/2011-05-18/live-blog-duval-school-board-continues-budget-and