FRAMINGHAM – On the recommendation of the Framingham Superintendent of Schools and the Framingham Athletic Director, the Framingham School Committee voted unanimously to eliminate the athletic fee for Framingham High students to play sports. The vote was 9-0.
“This is the right step for our kids,” said Superintendent Bob Tremblay. “A fee-based system impedes access.”
The School Committee vote is effective with the 2018-19 school year.
Framingham High students wishing to play spring sports 2018 will still have to pay the athletic fee, explained athletic director Paul Spear.
Spear agreed on the access issue. He said he knows personally that students had filled out the registration to try out for a sport, only not to submit it as they saw there was a fee.
In February 2016, the Framingham School Committee voted to reduce the $225 athletic fee to $100. Those on free and reduced lunch can apply for a full or partial waiver. There is a maximum charge of $900 per family, regardless of how many athletes participate or how many seasons.
Editor’s Note: In full transparency, my daughter plays a sport at Framingham High and I have paid the fee.
Spear since the athletic fee was reduced, the number of students registering to try out for sports has increased.
District 2 School Committee member Ricky Finlay has been fighting to eliminate the athletic fee for almost a decade.
“I didn’t pay a fee when I played,” said Finlay, who is a product of the Framingham Public Schools, as a “Spartan.”
District 5 School Committee member Noval Alexander, who played high school sports as a “Framingham Flyer” said he was happy to see the fee go.
“I’m all for it,” he said before the vote.
“Hope we can get a guarantee to beat Natick on Thanksgiving Day. Let’s beat Natick,” he said.
Natick leads that football rivalry 76-32-5. The traditional Natick vs Framingham game was first played in 1904 with Framingham shutting out Natick 34-0, but lately the wins have all been Natick, including last year.
“As part of our district’s effort to improve access for all students, we are proud to make this commitment to our students and our community,” Tweeted Framingham Superintendent of Schools Bob Tremblay last night. “Athletics fosters a sense of belonging and that is something we value deeply in our schools!”
Spear said athletic fees were “projected” to bring in about $100,000 to the school district in the 2017-18 school year.
In previous years, the athletic fee has brought in about $118,000 to $125,000 to the district, said Spear.
Correction: Report has been updated to indicate Alexander was a Framingham Flyer.