A school district in Schuylkill County is facing a nearly $1 million deficit and to deal with that it plans to cut some sports programs.
Tamaqua Area cheerleaders, several years ago, signed checks which were bound for Hurricane Katrina victims. Now the tables have been turned and they need money. The school board has eliminated funding to the cheerleaders, golf and the boys tennis program.
Fran Gilbert, whose daughter is a cheerleader, said the funding cut can’t be the end of the cheerleaders.
“I can’t imagine going to football games without cheerleaders there. I know it’s good for the children and I have talked to other parents who feel the same way and I cannot imagine not having cheerleaders there to support the school,” Gilbert said.
Deb Donnon, the cheerleaders booster club president, said she agrees.
“If our kids are going to go to the school district, if our children are going to go to the school district we have to give rather than them having to take,” Donnon said.
The school board said it’s cutting the programs funding to save $25,000 to help plug an $800,000 deficit.
Donnon said she and other parents will raise the money themselves. Donnon owns a flower shop.
“I have two fundraisers coming up, plus a program I have coming up at the flower shop. Any Mothers Day arrangement order, I am going to send proceeds to the booster club and hopefully we take care of our club and we want to take care of other clubs and help them also,” Donnon added.
The school board president said some have suggested that the school board raise taxes to fund the sporting programs. He said that’s not an option because unemployment is just too high in the Tamaqua Area.