Schools Suspend After-School Activities

By Rory Devine
|  Tuesday, Sep 14, 2010  |  Updated 6:06 AM PDT
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Schools Suspend After-School Activities

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Schools Suspend After-School Activities

All after-school extracurricular activities were suspended at all middle schools in the Vista Unified School District. Source: Schools Suspend After-School Activities | NBC San Diego
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All after-school extracurricular activities were suspended at all middle schools in the Vista Unified School District.

If you guessed the cause was budget-related, you would be right -- but only partially.

Visitors at Vista's middle schools might have seen students playing football and basketball on Monday, but they were doing so during phys ed classes, which is OK.

After-school sports are suspended, though, because the district is no longer paying stipends to the coaches. Current law says parents cannot directly pay for students to play, so to speak: They can't pay for uniforms, equipment, coaches or transportation, and can't financially sustain after-school extracurricular activities.

The decision at Vista's school comes in the wake of a suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU said in a lawsuit filed earlier this month that California's cash-strapped school districts have been charging student fees that violate the state constitutional guarantee to a free public education.

For its part, the San Diego Unified School District told its school officials that parents cannot pay for programs and activities.

As a result, the Vista Unified School District is looking at the issue and trying to come up with a solution. Officials agree that all students across the district have to have equal access to sports and extracurricular activities.

Currently, if a fundraiser is held at a school, that money is spent at the school. What's being considered though is that the money would be shifted to the district, which would then share out the money to all the schools in order to guarantee equal access.
    

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