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When the Crook County School District Budget Committee recently voted to restore $82,500 to the districtís athletic funding, coaches in the district breathed a sigh of relief.
The money will go a long ways toward restoring stability to athletic programs in the district. However, district athletic programs are still underfunded when compared to other Class 4A schools in Central Oregon.
Although budgets are tight in school districts throughout the state, most schools are still fully funding high school athletic programs.
Even with the $82,500, athletic teams in Crook County will still have to rely heavily on fundraising. While most school districts use fundraising to provide new uniforms for athletic teams, or to upgrade equipment, CCHS teams are still forced to fundraise for officiating costs and other necessities that most athletic teams take for granted.
The community has been more than generous in supporting athletic teams during the funding crisis. However, fundraising will only be successful for so long. With each successive year, parents grow more weary of the work required to keep teams running. Qualified coaches are becoming increasingly difficult to find, and Crook County is still at a competitive disadvantage against teams that can spend all their time on the practice field or court instead of splitting time between practice and fundraising.
Still, although $82,500 falls far short of fully funding athletics in Crook?County, it is a huge step in the right direction.
Currently, Crook County expects to move to the Class 4A Tri Valley League for the 2014-2015 school year. The league, which is historically one of the top leagues in Class 4A will be made up of teams from Estacada, Gladstone, La Salle Prep, Madras, Molalla, North Marion, and Crook County.
Hopefully by the time redistricting is complete CCHS will once again be fully funding athletics. If not, then their sports teams will continue to be at a major disadvantage.