Pay to Play Policy to Stay for Some after School Merger

Pay to Play Policy to Stay for Some after School Merger

Currently middle school students in Memphis don't have to pay for athletics; in Shelby County parents have to pay out of their pockets. In August, when both systems merge, that will not change, which means a lot of parents are not happy about it.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Currently middle school students in Memphis don't have to pay for athletics; in Shelby County parents have to pay out of their pockets. In August, when both systems merge, that will not change, which means a lot of parents are not happy about it.

"In looking forward to a unified system, it was my concern that there'd be a unified model that the parents would be able to rely on and I think there's going to be some concern if its not that way," said Unified School Board member Theresa Jones.

The issue brings up the economic chasm that exists between many people who live in the city and those in Shelby County. The city school system pays all athletic fees for middle school children because there are many parents who can't afford to pay. In Shelby County, it's always been up to the parents to pay.

"Children are in school for an education, but sports are a big part of their life and what they enjoy and for being a well rounded person," Jones noted. "So the cost of that could be significant, obviously if you have 3 or 4 children."

Board members were told for them to change things so the school system would tote the note for all middle school students, it would cost an additional $20 million.

"We'll have some students paying certain amounts, for other students the school system will pay for it."

One parent who was at this meeting told board members there was going to be a lot of trouble concerning this rule. They will discuss it again next month.

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