In Royal Oak, the school district decided that it was going to charge an extra $50 for students who wanted to play a second sport in the middle school. Meanwhile, the teachers’ union contract states that a first year middle school football coach would see a salary increases of 35.1 percent in year two, 26.2 percent in year three, 20.7 percent in year four, and 27.9 percent in year five before reaching the top of the scale. Over a five-year period, the middle school football coach’s salary would go from $1,136 in the first year to $2,995 during the fifth year.
Although a single coach’s salary may seem inconsequential, athletics are big-budget items to school districts. Royal Oak spent $591,782 on athletics in 2010, an 11.5-percent increase over 2009, according to Michael Van Beek, education policy director at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. When a school district hires a teacher to add coaching duties to their job classification, it must also make mandatory pension contributions and pay FICA taxes on the coach’s salary. For Royal Oak, pension and FICA costs for coaches were $57,231 in 2010.
Royal Oak is one of several school districts that are increasing the charges that students pay to participate in sports. The district recently changed the annual $100 fee to a $100 annual fee for the first sport, and $50 if the student wished to add additional sports, according to John Schwartz, the Royal Oak School District’s executive director of business services and personnel.
School districts in Rochester and Bangor are also contemplating hiking or already have increased pay-for-play fees.
According to a local newspaper report, Rochester is considering boosting the district’s $185 fee for one sport, and $370 maximum fee, to $195 and $410, respectively.
According to the Rochester teachers’ contract, the head high school football coach salary will increase 6.2 percent after the first year, 5.9 percent after two years, 5.5 percent after three full years and 5.2 percent after four years. The salary would begin at $4,968 and grow to $6,210 as the coach enters the fifth year.
The Bay City News reports that the Bangor Township school district increased its fees from $25 to $35 for middle school and high school athletes. The Bangor High School football coach will see his coaching salary increase from $4,604 after the first year to $5,913 during the fifth year.