Burlington, NC -- A proposed policy at Alamance-Burlington Schools would make sure kids who don't have a lot of money could still afford to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities.
Public schools in the Triad might not charge students to play sports, but with all of the required extras, the fees add up.
"I looked at my bills and I thought, 'well what can I do to make his dreams come true? And, what would a Mom do?' I would do anything for my son, anything," said Alva Nesmith.
Nesmith, has two children in middle school in Alamance-Burlington Schools.
Nesmith said last year, she had to downsize her car and her cable, so she could pay $850 for her kids to play sports.
The schools don't charge a fee, but School Board Member Patsy Simpson said some coaches require kids to pay for volunteers, pay for special gear and equipment and pay for overnight camps to help them get better.
Simpson had to pay nearly $385 for her daughter to attend cheerleading camp. Another mother called her to say her son had to buy $225 custom shoes for his basketball team.
The fees are not limited to sports. Marching bands and other club activities require extra fees too.
Simpson said the reality is, kids who can't afford to play, don't.
"It's really nice to have these extra things, but it's not necessary. And we want to make sure that all of our children get an opportunity to participate, and not have to take into consideration the extra fees to buy extra things that are not necessary," said Simpson.
Simpson proposed a policy to cap how much each student has to pay for activities. The cap would vary by sport or organization.
Under the policy, camps and other off-campus activities would be optional, not required to keep their spot on the team. And students would not pay for coaches or volunteer coaches.
"I just thank God because last year, I didn't think I was going to be able to pay certain bills because of this. So, I'm thankful for the cap because my son, it's really going to help him," said Nesmith.
Prior to each school year, the school board would have to approve all of the fees for each team or activity.
Alamance-Burlington Schools would be the first school system in North Carolina to have a policy like this. I
The school board will be voting on the policy next Monday night and discussing what each of those caps will be for each activity.
Parents can comment at the meeting or submit a comment online by visiting www.abss.k12.nc.us. Just click on the public comment section.
If the policy passes, it will go into effect this season.
WFMY News 2