Rogue River keeps sports costs equal for everyone

Homeschool and charter students playing sports at Rogue River Junior/Senior High School won't have to pay double as was originally proposed, the School Board decided Tuesday.

The board agreed to keep the fees at $100 per student per sport for at least another year while the district researches costs and policies at other schools.

The district retains $50 of the $100 pay-to-play fee for its general fund to pay for transportation, officials and supplies. The other $50 goes to the team.

Principal Jesse Pershin said he believes non-attending students should pay more than Rogue River students and proposed to double their fee.

"We are using funding that we receive for the students that walk these halls to fund programs for students who do not attend this school," he said. "My thought is that money we receive for those students should be used for those students."

Paula Wright, a volunteer softball coach whose kids graduated from Rogue River, agreed.

"The kids that are not in our school district should pay a higher fee because they're using our buildings, our facilities and our equipment," she said. "They're also getting excellent coaching from both paid and unpaid coaches."

Board member Niki Coulter said other issues could arise.

"I worry about us going in a direction where we become less user-friendly to the public," she said. "I mean, do we really want to set two tiers or have two separate groups of people?"

Some board members and parents say that the district's first priority, though, should be the students in the building.

"We can be user-friendly, but to me, we're about the kids in the buildings first," said Trayce Jensen, school board member. "Not that kids outside the buildings are any less valuable, but to us we need to put a priority on our own students."

Pershin said charter schools receive state funding, just as public schools do.

"Charter schools should be responsible because they get the same funding as we do. They should have the financial resources to pay for those students," he said.

Reach intern Amanda Barker at

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