Elmhurst District 205 board approves funding for York lacrosse

Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 Board of Education members meet Jan. 9. The six present board members voted unanimously at the meeting to approve participation fees of $175 for boys and girls lacrosse beginning with the spring 2018 season.[]

ELMHURST – The Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 Board of Education decided Jan. 9 to lower the cost to families with students who play lacrosse for York Community High School.

The vote – which set the participation fee at $175 for boys and girls lacrosse starting this spring season – was unanimous among the six present board members. Board member Jim Collins was absent.

Prior to the vote, lacrosse was a self-funded sport at York Community High School, according to a newsletter posted Dec. 9, 2016, on the school's website. From its founding in 2006 until the district recognized it as a self-funded school sport for the 2010-11 academic year, lacrosse was a parent-run organization. In 2016, the player fee was $475. Families have raised money through various fundraisers, including concessions, car washes and restaurant fundraisers.

Total expenditures for the program will be $135,000 for year one and $92,200 for each following year, according to a cost estimates document sent by Mark Cohen, assistant superintendent of innovation and growth for the district, to board members.

Coaching stipends have been set at $60,000 for 10 coaches, according to the document. These stipends are comparable to baseball, a like-sized program, Cohen said at the Dec. 12, 2017, board meeting, where the board discussed the funding issue.

Cohen said there are four different levels of fees for athletics per participant: $125, $150, $175 and $200. The $200-fee sports cost more than $1,000 per individual participant, he said.

Board Vice President Margaret Harrell had said at the Dec. 12 meeting that the challenge was finding the money to support the various programs the district offers and making the financial choices. She said she believed there should be a reassessment of all sports fees next year.

Collins said at the Dec. 12 meeting that lacrosse parents approached the board in 2012 to ask that it recognize lacrosse so that York could play in post-season tournaments, and the parents would self-fund participation. He anticipated future parents would ask that the sport be funded like any other sport. He added he was in support of a complete review of fees as well.

Lacrosse practices for both boys and girls start Feb. 26, according to the teams' webpages.