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VICTOR JOECKS: From free to $450: Cost of CCSD sports varies dramatically by school

A family’s ability to afford high school sports may depend on where they live.

Sports are important for many high school students. Obviously, they’re fun, but they have long-lasting benefits as well. Students learn how they can improve themselves through hard work. They face and overcome obstacles. They learn resilience from the bitterness of defeat. It’s a chance to practice leadership, goal setting and working within a team. Sports provide an opportunity for mentorship.

Before you read further, ask yourself: How much does it cost to play high school sports in the Clark County School District?

The answer might sound like it’s coming from a lawyer: It depends.

Costs vary wildly by school, as revealed by documents obtain via a public records request.

It’s football season. Joining the team will cost students $300 at Centennial High School and $200 at Eldorado High School. At Clark High School, it’s $45. At Del Sol Academy, there’s no cost.

At football games, there are usually cheerleaders hyping up the crowd. But at some schools, the price of joining the squad is nothing to shout about. At Mohave High School, cheer costs $416. At Canyon Springs High School, there’s no specific fee for cheer, although the athletic packet costs $25.

At Boulder City High School, the athletic packet costs $55. Cheer costs $350, while football is $100.

Athletes at Laughlin High School have a great deal. It doesn’t charge for any sport. A few other schools said they charge a fee of $25 or $30 to create an “athletic packet.”

Boys’ basketball is often one of the more expensive sports. At Arbor View, the cost to join the varsity team is $450. It’s $300 at Clark and Sierra Vista High School. While the “spirit pack” for JV boys’ basketball at Durango High School costs $325, there’s no spirit pack charge for those on the varsity team.

Boys’ sports are frequently, although not always, more expensive than the girls’ teams. At Sierra Vista, boys’ soccer is $100 more than the girls’ team. At Canyon Springs, boys’ basketball costs $150 more than the girls’ team. At Arbor View, boys’ volleyball costs $300, the girls’ team is just $100.

The critical-race-theory worldview demands you look at only one variable even if there are many factors determining an outcome. If you accept that fallacy, you must conclude the district is horribly sexist against boys.

In reality, many factors play into the cost of sports, including decisions of individual coaches on uniforms and travel. Some schools presumably have more engaged fundraising groups. Another factor: The district provided costs at only some schools so a complete analysis isn’t possible.

The district says it provides schools with funding for materials and supplies, but individual schools make the decision about how much to charge for sports. Site-based decision-making is a good thing. But it shouldn’t apply just to schools.

In some families, lower-cost sports matters a lot. In others, it doesn’t. Parents and students should be able to select the school and the type of schooling that works best for them when considering all factors, including the costs of sports.

Victor Joecks’ column appears in the Opinion section each Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Contact him at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.

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