Valley High Schools Raising "Pay to Play" Fees for Student Athletes

Remember when it took only a little weight training and a successful tryout to join your high school football team?

Well, several Valley school districts have decided that raw talent alone is no longer enough to make the squad, and are charging "activity fees" for each sport. The fees aren't small either.

Several school districts already had small fees in place, but given the budget cuts that have hurt schools all across the state, many districts have upped the fee fairly substantially.

Paradise Valley charges students $200 per sport, a $50 increase from last year.

"I wonder why? Why do we have to keeping paying more? Isn't $150 enough? Isn't $100 enough?" Paradise Valley parent James Cullum says to CBS 5. "I have one [child who] plays basketball, another plays football."

The Arizona Interscholastic Association oversees high school sports in Arizona and conducted a study that found the average activity fee at public high schools is $50, and $150 at a private school.

Many districts, like Mesa, still have free athletic programs, but say that they considered tacking on a fee this year to help deal with budget constraints.

 On the up-side, joining a gang is still free.


KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
James King
Contact: James King