The cost to play sports; Pay-to-Play - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

The cost to play sports; Pay-to-Play

The fee is called "pay to play" and many school districts are putting that in place so they can still afford for athletes to hit the field.

Those that support the idea say if the parents want to continue to watch their kids from the stands-they're just going to have to pay up.

Being part of Panther Pride might not come so cheap this year for district 101 in Pinckneyville.

Parents must now pay a fifty dollar fee for every athletic team their child participates in.

A maximum of one-hundred dollars per family.

"We're not looking to get rich were just looking to offset some of the expenditures," says Superintendent Keith Hagene

It's money that he says will make up for late payments from the state.

A total of almost $2 million lost over the last five years.

"We just don't have the revenue coming in," he says.

Hagene says the money will help out with fuel expenses for teams to travel, a high cost when located in a rural area.

"We are a rural community, if you look at the river to river conference, you know, we are going to put some miles on to and from," he says.

Tammy Cannon's daughter is a senior at Pinckneyville High School.

She says if it weren't for the sports program, her daughter would never have gotten a scholarship to go to college.

"I am very proud of her, I am proud of the school and the way it has also helped her and the administration has also helped and I am proud of what she has been able to accomplish here at the high school," says Cannon.

She says the extra cost is nothing compared to what her daughter and hundreds of other kids get out of playing for a team.

"Whatever helps our school program, whatever helps our sports program and academics; I'm going to pay what is necessary," she says.

The district admits not everyone is thrilled with the change, but this is just one way they are able to keep kids on the field.

Hagene says all fees are eligible for waivers for families who apply for low income.

District 101 has also had to raise their school lunch costs and the fees for Drivers ED and parking.

When and if the state can make up for its late payments-Hagene says the "pay-to-play" fee will be the first one to go.

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