USAToday has several stories on the "pay to play" trend discussed here yesterday. Here's a snip from the cover story:
School sports used to mean paying only with sweat. More and more these days, sports can also mean paying a fee. Fairfield's fees are an extreme example of a national trend toward programs that require public school students to pay if they want to play sports and/or participate in other activities.
USA TODAY surveyed state high school sports associations and found 34 states in which associations say at least some school districts are charging students to play sports. Associations in 16 states plus the District of Columbia say they do not have, or are at least unaware of, schools that charge user fees.
Pay to play, as it is commonly called, is not new. But the number of public schools that impose it is growing, an assertion that state associations base mainly on anecdotal evidence — what they hear informally from schools — because most states do not track how many schools charge fees.
One that does count is Kansas, where pay-to-play districts have grown from 29 to 50 to 55 in the last three years; that's about 18% of the state's 302 school districts.
Michigan has 760 high schools; 558 returned a survey last year and 126 of those said they charged user fees, more than double from a decade ago. Missouri counted for the first time this spring and found 50 high schools with user fees.
The cover story is supplemented by this article which focuses on a vote to raise the tax levy in Fairfield Ohio. Fees of over $600 per sport await families should voters reject the tax proposal, as they've done with prior versions.