A school system in Massachusetts has had to cut out all extracurricular activities to meet a budget shortfall. Maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Jeff Jacoby reports that Saugus, Mass., is dealing with $2.6 million less in its school budget, so all sports, clubs, bands, and other activities have been eliminated, including the state champion hockey team. In fact, all that will remain is actual classroom education.
Despite students and parents hold demonstrations, demanding that everyone else pony up more money so they and their kids can continue to play sports and the like, I think the best idea was that those who wish to participate in the particular activity should have to pay the cost of it. And maybe spending more time focused on academics would help students actually learn. He quotes one student who says that if there’s nothing to do after school, he’ll just go home and study. Now there’s a concept! I’d love to come back in five years, if this continues, and see the result on Saugus test scores and achievement. I’d bet that most are doing better. As of now, however, while the school has the state hockey champs, 47 percent of 10th graders performed at the lowest two levels in English and 56 percent did in math.