The Holland School Board last week voted 6 to 1 to renew an agreement with the Holland Raiders, allowing Holland athletes to once again participate in the East Aurora-Holland football program in 2014-15 at no cost to the district.
Board member Brian Jones, who is also president of the Holland Raiders, asked for an early decision by the board so that the group, which promotes youth football and cheerleading, will have more time to raise funds.
Among other costs, the Raiders paid $1,900 in transportation expenses last year.
Board member Judy Geer opposed the motion, saying, “I have all kinds of problems with the injury rates and the violence. Don’t get me wrong, sports definitely have a place in school, but not this one.”
In other matters, the board debated a parent’s request to allow home-schooled students to participate in credit-bearing courses.
Taina Armstrong-Hoffman said making an exception is a “dangerous” precedent. “If you say yes to one, don’t you have to say yes to all?” she asked.
Kelleen Kensey acknowledged that parents who are home-schooling their children are part of the school district and pay school taxes, too, but she noted the district does not receive state aid for their children.
Superintendent Cathy Fabiatos said she will survey other districts about their policies and report back to the board.
Also, board members learned that a sizable chunk in debt service will expire in 2014-15. Interim business leader Thomas Bagley said that $900,000 in debt service will be dropping off the expense side of the budget. However, revenue associated with the expense – about 80 percent – also will disappear.