There have been some "ugly" cuts to K-12 education recently, from axing extra curricular activities to increasing class sizes and eliminating teachers, and though the picture remains fuzzy, Rosemont High School's athletics program should remain intact.
Principal Leise Martinez recently said the school will receive 80 percent of the funding from last year, and will use the entire amount on coach stipends. Some boys and girls teams may become co-ed, Martinez said, but no final decisions have been made.
"It's really not as bad at all as it might appear at first glance," she said. "We do have enough money in sports to keep things pretty intact."
The Sacramento City Unified School District has a $28 million defecit for the 2012-2013 school year, District Spokeswoman Janet Weeks said. After cutting teachers and staff, such as counselors and librarians, the district moved on to eliminating co-curricular support, Weeks said. These decisions, made in February, also include furlough days and larger class sizes.
"We're in a deep fiscal crisis and we had cut all funding for co-curriculars, such as athletics, marching band, drama, yearbook, cheerleading, newspaper, speech and debate," Weeks said. But district staff eventually managed to dig up enough money to maintain most schools' athletics programs -- just more than $1 million district-wide, which translated to $135,000 for Rosemont High -- as many students attend school for these opportunities.
"We know that's what keeps kids coming to school," Weeks said. "For a lot of kids, if they can't play football, soccer or water polo, they won't be interested in coming to school."
Most sports teams will continue with their current coaches, Martinez said, but there may be some vacancies to fill for spring sports. Baseball Coach Paul Martinez recently left Rosemont High, according to District Spokesman Gabe Ross, but it's unclear why he left.
But overall, most coaches and athletics support staff hung in there through the months of the unknown, District Athletics Director John Smith said.
"It had everybody on the edge of their seat for quite a while, waiting to see if the decision would turn as far as keeping athletics," Smith said.
Such financial crisis aren't new for California schools. The SCUSD went through a similar funding scare in 2011, and had considered cutting co-curricular athletics, Smith said, but somehow, the money was found.
"But they were able to reinstate funding a lot earlier (in 2011)," he said. "They weren't going to make a decision to bring it back until they had the funding. You can't spend money you don't have."
For now, staff are looking forward to the upcoming football and basketball games, and continuing to win metro league championships, Martinez said.
Smith said everyone is grateful and feels fortunate to have the funding to continue such vital parts of the education process.
"And though we may not have the funding to the degree we had a year ago, it's better than nothing at all," he said. "It's our goal to turn a negative into a positive."