District cost analysis questioned

Parents of players as well as current and former Taft Union High School water polo players urged the Taft union High school Board of Trustees not to cut the fall sport.

The parents and students spoke at at the February 20 TUHS Board meeting where major cuts to the teaching staff were made and the Board of Trustees received reports of the cost of the schools athletic programs.

All of the speakers urged the Board to keep the boys and girls water polo programs, the newest athletic program at the school.

Parents spoke about the positives of having their children on the team and criticized the accounting used to assign costs to each program, saying the costs listed for the water polo program on a document posted to the TUHS website were inaccurate.

Barbara Johnson, the mother of a freshman who played on the water polo team this fall,said the District's figures "seems very biased."

"It is completely inconsistent, inaccurate and full of holes," Johnson told the Board. "As a school, someone should be embarrassed that these numbers were posted on the website for all of the public to view...its not fair to the kids to cut something based on false numbers."

Johnson and Chris Hickernell, the father of a three-year water polo player. both questioned why costs for chemicals and heating the pool for five months were assigned to the water polo program Hickernell said charging heating and chemical costs to the water polo program was unfair when other programs are not charged for facility costs.

Johnson agreed.
"In the report it states that it costs the district a total of $63,500 for five months of heating for water polo," Johnson said. "Water polo only needs the pool to be heated for three weeks, not five months as stated in the

financial reports. The water

polo team is being charged for the cost of heating the pool for four months longer than our season even lasts."

Transportation cost swere also challenged.
The Board made no comment on the remarks.

Board President John Kopp referred to it briefly in opening comments before the public comment period.

He said the District is facing very difficult choices, and pointed out board support for the program in the past.
"We love water polo," Kopp said. "This board, a few years ago, gave birth to water polo at Taft High."
The water polo program initially started as coed but grew to have separate boys and girls