At the February 12th Miami-Dade County School Board meeting revenue sharing with the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) will be a hot topic.
School Board Vice Chair Dr. Steve Gallon III will ask the School Board to approve Board Agenda Item H-8, FHSAA Revenue Sharing, which was co-sponsored by Chairwoman Perla Tabares-Hantman, Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, Dr. Lawrence S. Feldman, Dr. Martin Karp, and Ms. Maria Teresa Rojas during the Committee meeting of February 5, 2020.
This item is a request from Gallon for a review of the financial relationship between district schools and the FHSAA. Specifically, he wants to examine instances in which the costs and subsequent payment from the FHSAA for a school’s participation in postseason competition and/or state championship series events results in a deficit to the school. It has been suggested that although there may be a financial benefit to the FHSAA, schools that often participate realize a financial loss—often very significant ones for schools with limited resources to support and invest in their athletic programs.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) is committed to students’ participation in interscholastic sports. In doing so, it recognizes athletics as a mainstay of school districts, schools, and more important, the learning and life experiences of students. In doing so, M-DCPS has worked very closely with the FHSAA in the development, implementation, and enforcement of policies governing high school athletics.
In December 2019, a record seven high school football teams went to the Florida High School Athletic Association state football championships and all seven returned home winners, including Booker T. Washington, Miami Northwestern and Miami Central High Schools. The costs of reaching and winning a state championship in football, or in any other high school sport for that matter, involves dedication, hard work, and sacrifice on the part of school staff, coaches, and student athletes. However, there are significant financial costs and investment of resources that are required for school teams to compete in both postseason competition and state championship series events. It has been noted that the cost to a school for travel, food, and lodging for their football team to compete can exceed $15,000.00. Yet, when applying the current FHSAA criteria for revenue sharing the payment received by the school from FHSAA is less than $7,000.00—resulting in a net deficit of nearly $10,000.00 which would have to be absorbed by the individual school.
“This was a concern during my tenure for seven years as a high school principal at Miami Northwestern—nearly two decades ago,” said Gallon.
“For me and many, it is an issue of economic fairness and equity. Many schools in our district and throughout the state financially struggle to support their student athletes who have earned the right to compete and win at the at the highest level. I am vexed by any financial relationship that may unfairly profit on the backs, sweat, and sacrifices of our students, and to the financial loss to our schools,” he said.