I attended a booster club meeting at Harlem Middle School and was dismayed to learn of the proposed budget cuts on the table at Columbia County Board of Education.
According to information, there is a need to cut $2.4 million from the overall school budget for 2010-11 school year. Part of the proposed cut, in the amount of $87,000, will eliminate the middle school sports of soccer (girls and boys), tennis, track and field and golf. This leaves football, basketball, softball and baseball.
I believe that the elimination of these "minor" sports will leave a major hole in the athletic program for our children. Not all children have the ability to play the most popular sports. However, playing sports of any type not only builds social skills but teaches our kids discipline and motivation. It is a way to a healthier life. For those with other talents, (say for tennis, golf, soccer, etc.) the "minor" sport is their sport of choice.
Our children face many changes in middle school, and some of the choices they could make can be very bad ones. After-school sports is one outlet they have that guides them in a better direction.
I am asking the school board to consider cutting other areas. I cannot believe that a cut of $87,000 for the county middle school programs will affect a $2.4 million budget shortfall. Please find other areas to trim the budget.
Lucy K. Nel
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