From Cameron Smith at Yahoo Sports:
"If someone has a project, we’ll get a group of kids to go do it," (North Marion coach Doug) Bilodeau told the Oregonian. “‘Work for helmets’ isn’t just a slogan. We put it into practice."
The team has already raised enough funds for five new helmets, with a goal of 30 by August. While he had no idea how it would happen just a month ago, Bilodeau now sounds confident that the team can reach its fundraising goal.
“I’ve got to find a way. Collect cans if I have to. I don’t want a kid not playing football because we don’t have the helmets,” Bilodeau said."
Collect cans? Rake leaves?
On the surface, this is heartwarming story of one local coach dedicated to teaching kids a great team sport. I admire the coach's determination to set an example of hard work to achieve one's goal - especially a charitable endeavor, such as this.
But I think it's more a story about this school district's poor management and misappropriation of funds to satisfy teachers' union greed.
This school year, the state of Oregon will spend nearly $10,000 per student in public schools. Ten Thousand PER! All totaled, the North Marion 15 School District has a 2013 operating budget of $18.5 million for 1,895 students (k-12). By comparison, here in the over-priced, lily white, gated communities of eastern Jackson County, Missouri, the public schools spend roughly $4,900 per student. The average public school expenditure in the U.S. is $5,691.
A quick search of the inter-toobs turned up 'Football America,' which advertises a Rawlings adult varsity football helmet, with face guard for $205, plus $10 shipping. A local graphic shop can do the decals for about $30 per helmet. The one helmet total = $245. A 30 team total = $7,350 - and that's before any team discounts (10-15%), or free shipping details, which the site prominently advertises!
I find it hard to believe that the district can't make do with one less salaried employee dollar, or one less workshop, or conference, or streamline wasted food costs from the district's $18.5 million budget in order to purchase football helmets so their coach or team doesn't have to go begging for donations.
It almost sounds like a government operation, or something.