$150 pay-to-play fee in Norwalk?

Norwalk school officials tell how they plan to eliminate local deficit projection.
Cary Ashby
Dec 12, 2012


The Norwalk City Schools board of education on Tuesday approved the district's response to the Ohio Department of Education (ODE)'s request for a written proposal outlining the plans to eliminate the projected deficit beginning with fiscal year 2014.

In a Nov. 5 letter to Superintendent Dennis Doughty, the ODE said Norwalk's "current five-year forecast projects a negative unreserved fund balance ... exceeding 2 percent of revenue beginning in fiscal year 2014."

Doughty's plan would give Norwalk an anticipated cash balance of slightly less than $3.1 million for fiscal year 2014.

"It's a temporary fix," Doughty said.

Among the proposed changes:

** Adjust athletic participation fee to $150 per high-school sport and $75 per middle-school sport

** Adjust special schedules in grades K-12 and make necessary changes through the elimination of building positions.

The full list of proposed cuts was published in Wednesday's Reflector.



Learn to edit. This is your job...pathetic.

swiss family

gee changes in the sports participation fees... who could have guessed that one??? can I have another guess??? I predict busing adjustments will be next... same story every time the public says no to a levy.. so unpredictable and so uncalled for... there are plenty of other places to make necessary cuts.. why not do those for once???... How much TAXPAYERS money does it cost to put it on the next ballot?? If you are short on money, and the people have already said "NO" I hardly spending MORE of OUR money to convince us to "Give in" is ethical...One more thing.. they will tell us that it is a "One time" thing.. and it will end in 5 years... tea.. right!!! no in 5 years when it ends they will ask for a renewal.. and proudly tell us then that it "is not NEW money they are asking for" sorry, seen the same logic over and over again.. how about coming up with a real solution????

Guy on a Buffalo

What are your solutions? Did you go present your ideas at a board meeting or community meeting? I read before 27 teachers have been eliminated through cuts. Should nine teachers cover all 4000 students?

swiss family

my solution is to look for a realistic and workable solution for everyone... My solution is to get down and dirty serious with everyone.. hold man actual board meeting equipped with all of the current expenses paid out now.. Including the employees salaries, the heating and cooling and electric bills,, the water bills, the gas bills, the custodians salaries , grounds keepers salaries etc... put all of the cards on the table.. I have to believe that as they are gathering that honest and factual information, they will see for themselves areas that they know they can cut now, before the meeting, or risk feeling awkward and dumb for trying to push it through on a tight budgeted public...HONESTY is my answer... You ask if I went to a board meeting??? the answer is NO... and from what I hear there might have been 30 people at the last meeting, with 27 of them being teachers who of course already have an agenda.. so I chose to air it here, on a public forum where thousands of people can make up their minds and add to and take away information and make their own choices, So it comes down to math... 30 school teachers and associates of the school..vs... thousands of readers..... see ???

Guy on a Buffalo

So you don't have all the information, as you don't attend the meetings, yet you feel empowered to spout off your inaccurate comments to your minions. Nice!

Also, what is the agenda of the teachers that you always speak about? If it's money, I don't think agreeing to pay freezes and paying more for insurance and retirement is a bad thing. Good for them for helping out! You never see the needy telling the government they would take less food stamps, etc.

swiss family

so, had I gone to the board meetings, are you saying that they would, or are prepared to show where all of their money (well actually OUR money) is being spent??? every salary, every utility bill?? I didn't think so...oh and I believe you might be on the board?? if so would you please read your comments several times.. and I believe you will then see the threatening and condescending nature I have accused them of...Intimidation is NOT any way to run a school system in my opinion

run for the hills's picture
run for the hills



You are a coward Swiss! Do as I suggested to you before and contact the Superintendent and ask how you can share your brilliance, wisdom and extensive expertise in school funding issues. We are sick of seeing your idiotic attempt at convincing others that you know best. The schools are looking at all of their expenses and trying very hard to make the cuts that have the least impact on the educational programming of the district. Believe it or not but schools are in the business of educating their students and that should come before extra-curriculars and busing. I for one applaud the district's attempt at educating first and foremost and just maybe the students will come out of their with a lot more common sense than you have.


For those who foolishly believe that sports are a "profit center" for schools:

"Historically, only a fraction of college athletic departments support themselves. To break even, most rely on student fees and support from the school's general fund.

Of the 120 athletic departments in college football's top division in 2011, only 19% reported a profit.

The profitable schools generally have one thing in common: big-time football. Ohio State University's football team, for instance, earns more than 70% of the revenue generated by all the school's teams."

Question: If 81% of the top college football programs can't support themselves with commercial and alumni backing, how possibly can HS sports?


(Copy the article title in Google and click on the result in order to bypass the filters.)

swiss family

with all due respect.. I haven't seen anyone post that "sports are a profit center"... what I have seen and what I am saying, is that as soon as a Norwalk levy fails, the answer from the school board is to cut busing, where it hurts the most family's, ..and sports, another area that hurts nearly all families...they have been using the same strategy over and over, and will continue to do so until the taxpayers demand that they come up with a new plan


Re: "Sports are profitable"

There was a comment or two on the older article posted a few weeks ago.


I was really hoping the Board wouldn't use the "sports" scare tactic, but I guess I was wrong. So you increase the fee by $75? Let's say approximately 500 kids participate at the HS level, that would bring in an additional $37,500 per year. And that's not really going to help offset the deficit. It helps make it harder on kids and parents that don't have much extra income, but that's about it.


$37.5K is sumpthin'

Numerous schools in poor districts across the country use pay-for-play.

Time to realize that Norwalk and Huron Co. aren't as economically prosperous as in days past.

So from where is the needed revenue suppose to originate?

How about car washes and fund drives? Time for those that support sports to kick in some bucks.

Really are you ...

$37.5k will pay for about one third of one of the multiple principals yearly salaries. Lol! I would have to work all year for over three years to make what they make in one year, without a two month summer vacation every year. We need more jobs, ok maybe not just jobs, but working tax paying adults in Norwalk.

Dr. Information

Principles and Superintendents do not have a 2 month summer break like the school teachers do. I believe they get a week or two at the most.

swiss family

good point so because they were a couple more months doing basically nothing, we should double their salary??? right

Norwalk Lifer

Doing basically nothing? You have stated numerous times in the past that you don't know what a principle does, but now you can make that statement. You are truly ignorant.

Dr. Information

@swiss...."doing basically nothing"??? Proof please or once again hush hush child.


Seriously? $150.. What a joke! My child’s school fees were $180 this year, I pay $2-$3 a DAY for lunches that cost about .50 to make (thanks to Mrs. Obama–NOT!) , pay $80 for sports fee, $6 every time I want to watch a game, AND --- Just dished out $12 because my child wanted to take donations in because they get bonus points for doing so! BONUS POINTS??? I’m buying a grade! (for the record… my child works hard and is an honor student so those ten points don’t necessarily buy the grades but you get my point) OHHH… I’m not done… Uniform $$, Special shoe $$, away game food $$, team dinners, team parties, coaches gifts, oh wait – can you work the concession stands? I think the “schools” get enough of my money!


Amen to all the above you stated. Not counting extra money for practice shirts or warm up shirts, camp, and the gas dollars to run back and forth. How about asking for parents to keep the books at the games instead of having double dipping retired teachers getting paid for this. How much would we save in a year in just these wages? There are to many Chiefs in the school and not enough Indians. When I was in school there was one teacher with 30 students in a class one princple for 6 grades. We were taught real reading writing and math. Today they are not teaching them how to even count money. You would think with all the chiefs running around in each school the students would at least learn how to count change forwards and backwards. I say we need less staff and get back to basics. Oh and sports were free then.


If you want to change what the teachers are teaching - you need to go to Columbus. The teachers are mandated to teach to the test. And I guess we have all noticed that making change and ordinary life skills are not on the state test.


Why do we need a principal at 3 different schools ( Maplehurst, Pleasant and Main Street) one principal could be go between the three schools. What about all the secretaries? They have automated phones where you only leave a message, a one person job. I was told if the kids need anything printed there is a max of 30 pages a month, so if they have a report in a few classes and its over 30 pages we are charged. Why are we paying class fees?


You ask why we need a principal at 3 different schools? Have you BEEN in a school building lately? Discipline takes a huge amount of time. How exactly are you supposed to discipline a child when you are in another building? How are you supposed to evaluate teachers if you do not see them teach except for when you happen to be in that building and not handling other administrative duties? Get a ClUE!
Also, do you have any idea what the secretaries do? It is not just about answering the phone. Yes, parents call, but they don't just call to say hen their child is going to be absent. They call about a lot of different things. There is also the supply ordering, sub scheduling, etc.
Before you start spouting off, get the facts. I hear, from a local teacher, that there is not a limit on papers that students may print. There is a limit to what teachers can print on the color printer. This is to reduce the cost of color ink. Teaches can still make black and white copies of whatever they need to educate the students.
The district has made several cuts already. I sure wouldn't want my child in a classroom with 40+ kids! When you have been in, or worked in a school building, even volunteered in one, to see what really goes on, then see if your attitude does not change!

swiss family

you ask how discipline and teacher evaluation is even possible if the principal is floating between schools??? the answer clearly is the same way it is handled now...the principal can NOT be in every classroom all of the time.. so just as if we were to have a floating principal, where there are times when he is not in that schools classrooms, is the exact same situation we have now.. because he can only be in one school and one room at a time.. but with a floating principal instead of 3.. we will save lots of money in salaries, and a tremendous amount when you figure in all of the benefits

run for the hills's picture
run for the hills


swiss family


run for the hills's picture
run for the hills

Your still an idiot!

Estrella Damm



I think they are prepared to show where the money goes. The state now mandates what they teach, how they teach it and what is on the mandatory tests. And the governor has cut funding for schools. This isn't just in Norwalk - every school district in Ohio is in the same mess. Nobody wants to pay more taxes, but you have to fund these mandates. If the levies continue to fail, the state will step in and run the schools and the first things that go will be buses and sports. Secretaries are necessary at every school due to the record keeping required by law. A principal is necessary at every school to deal with the situations that teachers will full classrooms, special need students and a limited time schedule to teach each class before they move to another room cannot handle. Salaries are not out of line for these jobs when compared to all other districts. Do you want to hire your child's teachers via low bid?

This issue is a state issue and the problems lie in Columbus. School funding needs to be increased.


The teachers my kids have do not teach. They have them go to a website, then they have a week to get them turned in VIA email not paper anymore. The teachers are there to answer any questions. He was at study table ( tried 3 times) was told this was where he came for questions and guess what not one teacher could help, they told him Good Luck with that. So what do the teachers do? Yes we need A secretary, we do not need 2 or 3 at a school. You say about special need students, they have many different teachers that are helping there, and interventionalist, which makes no sense. They have made new positions for bogus reasons which are not needed.