For both public and private high school organizations, sports programs tend to bring in the most money. In bigger states, these funds can be budget setting or breaking because of the popularity of football, baseball, and basketball. In order to retain fan attendance, many schools invest a lot of their capital into producing the best sports teams that they can. This not only brings in a significant amount of revenue, but it also drives students to perform well enough academically to participate on these sports teams. It can also be argued that sports can drive some students to be more mature with their decisions because of the fundamental maturity to play sports at a high level.
Producing top-level football players also generates massive attention from the media. Top preparatory schools, like Mater Dei in California, and IMG Academy in Florida, are frequently discussed topics by the media in the football word. These kinds of schools make it their duty to produce intelligent athletes that are destined to play in Division One college football programs. This requires them to invest a lot of time and money into not only their sports programs, but also their academic ones. These kids, in order to compete, must attend rigorous class sessions that prepare them for college academics in the future. Without these programs, it would be tough for a player that is engineered to only play football to keep up with their schoolwork post high school. It’s a stressful process, but it would be silly to deny that it produces results.
Many high schools also utilize fundraising and booster programs to cushion some of the costs of their football expenses. These programs are even handled by parents of the players, who do it willingly for free. Funding generated from these programs is used to buy team uniforms, helmets, practice gear, and extra benefits for the players to improve their game. Every dollar invested is 2 dollars earned, a method that has been tested to work for decades for high schools of all shapes and sizes.
Some parents of high school students disagree with the massive amounts of funding that these football teams receive. Despite school budgets reflecting a high priority in sports, the function of a high school is traditionally to provide a high quality education program. With a lot of the money going to football field renovations rather than desks and textbooks, students often complain that high school sports programs siphon away money from the important things. It is probably best to achieve a balance that not only accommodates high-test scores, but also generates a high influx of sports revenues. It is also imperative that kids have outlets away from school, even if the level of play at their school isn’t at the elite level. High school sports have been alleviating stress for years, giving students the opportunity to follow passions outside of their schoolwork. Football programs often form strong bonds of camaraderie amongst the teammates; many teammates stay friends for years to come.
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