Neshaminy co-curriculars: varied finances among sports teams, clubs

Grace Marion, Editor-in-Chief

By Grace Marion
Multimedia and Entertainment Editor

As some organizations within Neshaminy High School, such as the Marching Band and Newspaper, have faced significant budget cuts in the last few years, it has come to question whether such cuts are in proportion to those by which Neshaminy athletic organizations have been affected.

“…if we include our invitational entrance fees and busing, I’m sure about half of our total is used. Honestly, I didn’t know how much [funding] we actually receive because anything I ask for is always taken care of. And I don’t mean that in a snotty way…,” said Neshaminy Girls’ Cross Country Coach, Staci Speece, said in an email-based interview this summer .

Neshaminy’s Varsity Girls’ Cross Country team received $5,477 in funding for their 2012-2013 season, and $5,809 for their 2013-2014 season, according to Neshaminy school District records obtained through a Right to Know Request filed in July. Although the request asked for both the funding of sports, and clubs, only that of sports was provided. No explanation was set forth as to why.

The Neshaminy Varsity Football team received a grand total of $73,244 for their 2012-2013 season. That is $67,767 more than what Speece’s team received the same year.

With football receiving $60,262 in 2013-2014, they’re the most highly funded sport in the entire district, with more than half of that funding going towards coach salaries.

Head Coach, Steve Wilmont, was not present as coach when the 2015-2016 football budget was dictated, as he was promoted after the budget was created.

Varsity Wrestling receives the next highest funding ($20,269), although it is less than half of what football receives, followed by baseball ($17,811), girl’s soccer ($16,961) and boy’s soccer ($16,109).

Looking at Varsity teams only, the lowest funded sports are Boys’ Tennis ($5,401), Boys’ Golf($5,602), and Boys’ Cross Country ($5,028). The above numbers are from the 2012-2013 season.

Although it is impossible to find the rates of funding for clubs, seeing as that information was left out of Neshaminy’s response to the aforementioned Right to Know request, some information on the matter can be found through interviewing the advisers of co curriculars.

“Both our curricular and co curricular budgets have been kind of decreasing over the last four or five years, consistently,” said Marching Band Conductor, Michael Lipton, in an interview on Aug. 17.

The Neshaminy Marching Band consists of over 225 members, and receives no funding from admission charged at the Neshaminy football games that they perform at.

Neshaminy’s school newspaper budget has been cut $2,000 this year from the 2014-2015 budget, and was cut $1,200 the year before, according to the Courier Times.

The award-winning publication will need to fundraise over $1200 if they are to print their usual seven issues this school year.

These cuts bring to question how the distribution of funds is dictated within Neshaminy School District.

The funding available to Neshaminy School District had steadily increased since the 2010-2011 school year. There has been a $38,869,477 fund balance increase from our 2010 budget of $169,281,116, bringing the 2015-2016 budget to a total of $208,150,593.

“The board really does not get involved with this kind of matter,” School Board and community member, Mark Shubin, commented.

“Ultimately these decision are made by the Administration, particularly the building Principal and the Athletic Director. I would suggest that you ask them how they make these decisions,”

Principal Robert McGee has refrained from commenting on this matter. It is McGee and Neshaminy’s Athletic Director and Vice Principal, Tom Magdelinskas, that decide the budgets for co curricular activities each year.

“[I am the] Assistant principal and athletic director; it is a dual role… Every district does it a little bit different, some people have an exclusive athletic director, some people have a coach take responsibility for that…” Magdelinskas said.

Confirming that he does, in fact, watch over non-athletic extracurricular activities, he added that he saw no conflict of interests in working with both clubs and sports.