"School reform . . . school financing . . . special commissions . . . school performance and efficiency" . . . You've got to be kidding. The answer to the problem of school financing in California is quite simple, but no one --from Gov. George Deukmejian to state School Supt. Bill Honig on down to the local high school principal--will ever consider such a move: Transfer 50% of all money spent on school sports to the support of academic programs.
The school district for which I work does not pay academic coaches. I have coached mock trial for three years with not one cent of remuneration. No problem . . . I enjoy the activity.
On the other hand, all sports, including even the most minor, are afforded the luxury of a head coach and an assistant coach who are paid between $1,000 to $2,000 each for a 10-week season.
Our student-body funds are spent according to the same priorities. As a mock trial coach, I was denied student body funds to pay the $80 cost of our team "banquet"--a trip to a local pizzeria; as an assistant coach of the badminton team, I requested additional equipment and received $600's worth--enough birds to last for years. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. There's uniforms, transportation, league fees.