High School Budget Cuts

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Alabama High School Athletic Association executive director Dan Washburn said possible cuts in funding for athletics and band programs will spell trouble for students and instructors.

Washburn said while athletics is not the most important aspect of education -- it is vital because coaches work as teachers who provide discipline and positive recognition for students.

He said a small portion of coaches salaries are tagged as supplements, which is a small part of a school's total budget.

Washburn said cutting that expense is not an answer to the funding woes facing education. He said if public schools lose a proposed six percent of their budget next year, it would be a detrimental blow to high school sports and band programs.

Washburn said many Alabama school systems may have to lobby city and county governments for additional funding. One of the options includes higher property taxes.

Schools in Mobile County avoided a potential shutdown of school extracurricular activities when voters approved an increase in property taxes in May 2001.