Carmel Clay Schools district should better allocate funds to support competition-level clubs

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Carmel Clay Schools district should better allocate funds to support competition-level clubs

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TechHOUNDS. eSports Club. Science Olympiad. These are just a few of the many clubs offered at this school utilizing club dues as a form of funding. According to treasurer Catherine Ramsey, student-interest clubs at CHS are not funded by the Carmel Clay Schools district in any way, shape or form. Instead, Ramsey said clubs are self-funded—such as requiring club dues or selling items at Homecoming—in order to support their activities.

In some cases, however, the lack of money in club funds can be detrimental to students as well as the success of clubs. For example, competition clubs such as TechHOUNDS use money from dues to buy materials and pay for the cost of transportation; but ultimately, according to various club leaders and sponsors, they often still lack in funds and, in turn, must boost the price of participation. This high cost of participation—$200 this year for TechHOUNDS—may deter many students from even joining and can make these clubs less accessible to those who come from lower income backgrounds.* Furthermore, a lack of funds not only prohibits some individuals from joining, it can also prevent clubs as a whole from participating. At the beginning of last year, for example, TechHOUNDS almost was unable to enter competitions due to its limited club funds. Other competition clubs, such as Science Olympiad, must often use their winnings from competitions to pay for their transportation and materials cost, but if they were provided with a baseline amount of money granted by the school, they may be able to offset these costs with their initial funds.

Because of this, while we recognize the limited accounts available for club funding, the school should consider reallocating funds to better support clubs, especially competition clubs that have a high cost of participation. This change could potentially lead to a boost in participation in those clubs and they may potentially perform better with the additional resources.

Since we know the school can’t fund every single club, the administration could implement a rigorous screening process to find clubs requiring large amounts of funds, specifically competition clubs. However, funds given by the school district should not be used to support individual club fees, but rather the actual transportation costs or competition fees. With the stress of paying taken off, club leadership could better focus on the club’s purpose rather than the financial aspect.

*It is important to note, however, many clubs do try to provide outside resources and try to help students as much as possible. For example, TechHOUNDS club recommends for each member find a business to sponsor them in order to avoid having to pay out-of-pocket.

Learn more about current updates of TechHound club here.

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