How Sports Budget Cuts Affect GPAs
Participating in sports provides young student athletes an amplitude of benefits, including providing an escape from their home lives and lending a viable opportunity to attend college.
For many of today’s professional athletes, sports involvement acted as a lifeline and opened doors to new opportunities that would not otherwise have been possible.
But young athletes today might not receive the same opportunities as school sports programs continue to be suspended at an alarming rate.
According to Up2Us Sports, the leader in the sports-based youth development movement, $3.5 billion was cut from sports budgets in schools from 2009 to 2011. An estimated 27 percent of US public high schools will have cut sports programs of any kind by 2020.
Tim Flannery, Assistant Director at the National Federation of State High School Associations, believes tax limit overrides have become the death sentence to athletics:
“Taxpayers are saying, ‘Let’s get rid of sports. We don’t have to pay for them.‘ School boards are saying, ‘Hey, it’s not mandatory to offer these programs.‘ What we’re saying is, ‘Well, we still have something to offer that is very important in this country.‘ “
“Millions of kids are going to be stripped away of their only opportunity of having a healthy, effective life.“
– Brandon Marshall (Jets)[/pullquote]
Professional athletes have begun speaking out against the elimination of sports programs in schools in hopes to raise awareness of the missed opportunities that may result.
One in particular: Higher Education
As sports programs are eliminated from schools across the country, performance in the classroom appears to plummet.
A study of 35,000 student athletes conducted by Yahoo Sports found a striking correlation between student’s participation in interscholastic athletics and their performance in the classroom, as well as a difference in attendance rates. Students participating in sports were present in class an average of 21 days per school year more than their peers.
The grade point averages of student athletes were also 0.55 to 0.74 points higher than their counterparts.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, athletes are four times more likely to attend college and are 50 percent more present in school than their non-athletic peers.
Before voting in your community’s next election, consider the positive experience derived from sports participation that serves as an extension of the classroom and encourages healthier, more responsible students.