‘Is This Really the Year?’: Councilman Flags $35,000 Request for NCHS Club Sports in Proposed Budget
A proposal that would create a way for New Canaan High School club sports to apply for some public financial support through the district was met last week with a raised eyebrow from at least one town funding bodies’ member concerned about its scope and timing. Town Councilman Jim Kucharczyk during a budget presentation last week called the $35,000 that the Board of Education is seeking to set aside for a pilot program “a nontrivial amount.”
“In a year where we are already funding a major renovation project at Saxe” and facing a required, steep increase in healthcare costs in the district, Kucharczyk said he would “raise the question: Is this really the year we need to allocate $35,000 with everything else that’s going on to the fencing and ski teams?”
His comments, made during New Canaan Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Bryan Luizzi’s Feb. 2 budget presentation to the Town Council and Board of Finance, address a proposed new policy (embedded in full as a PDF at the end of this article) that the Board of Education supported by way of including the additional $35,000 in its final proposed spending plan. Sports such as squash are not part of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, or CIAC, because not enough public high schools in the state have a team. That often relegates a sport to private funding only in New Canaan, because it means the district’s Athletic Department cannot offer funds, and the bylaws of the New Canaan High School All Sports Booster Club only allow disbursement of funds to CIAC sports.