USC discusses gender participation costs

Published Oct 29, 2013 at 4:36 pm (Updated Oct 29, 2013 at 4:36 pm)

Upper St. Clair School District school board members and administrators on Oct. 28 discussed a detailed report, required for the first time this year by the state, of gender participation and costs for each PIAA sport.

The district’s director of business and finance expressed concern about how the information will be used, and some school board members listed several activities requiring athletic fitness and ability which do not “count” for this report.

Concerns were discussed about not only this new report that was submitted to the state earlier this month, but one that is scheduled to be due a year from now that will require an accounting of funds spent by booster clubs on various sports.

Frosina Cordisco, director of business and finance, said this booster club report is currently under discussion and may not end up being required.

She said there has been some “push back” regarding requiring districts to report funding from the booster clubs.

Superintendent Patrick O’Toole said “It’s important to make sure you’re looking at disparities all the time.”

O’Toole is the Title IX compliance officer for the district.

“We need to look at whether booster clubs are contributing to a disparity,” he said. “They operate sort of outside our decision-making.”

Board member Angela Petersen said, “there are going to be disparities in the booster groups.”

Cordisco said, “we’re all very concerned about how this information will be used across the state.

“How do you pull the data together to make valid comparisons?” she asked.

Cordisco said they won’t know how Upper St. Clair compares to other school districts until the Pennsylvania Department of Education files its report, which is expected in January.

She said to complete the report for the district for the 2012-13 school year, they had to calculate facilities costs for each sport, by square footage of the space. She said this included labor, benefits, electricity and costs with depreciation for capital items in the facilities.

Cordisco said the totals for participation were 795 boys in grades 7 through 12, and 644 girls. The district spent $753,000 on the boys sports and $432,000 on girls sports.

Some board members said they were concerned about the fact that things like the dance team, cheerleading and the drill team on the marching band did not “count” for this report, even though they can be considered athletic.

O’Toole said sometimes those activities pull girls away from the teams that do “count” as far as the reporting is concerned.

Cordisco said the report that was filed with the state will be required to be posted on the district’s website, and they will also be required to give a printed copy of the report to anyone who requests it.

In other business Oct. 28, the board was told there would be a PTA “Open Mic” event with O’Toole and other administrators on the subject of “Safety and Security in our Schools.” O’Toole said the event will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 4, in the theater at Boyce Middle School. He said residents will have an opportunity to meet security personnel.

• Approved 6-0 a tax appeal settlement with St. Clair Country Club. The new assessment for the club’s four parcels will now total $6,867,300. Cordisco said that represented the mid point between the amout assessed by the recent Allegheny County re-assessment, and the amount sought by the country club. Board members Louis Mafrice Jr. and Louis Oliverio abstained from voting on the settlement, saying they were both members of the country club. Board member Buffy Hasco was absent.

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