By HDN Staff
It's unfortunate when a school can't offer all activities students and community members would like to see it offer. Sometimes that's the way it has to be.
With enrollment declining, and funding also declining because of the lower enrollment, Dr. Kirk Miller, superintendent of public schools in Havre, recommended that the board of trustees not add any new athletic activities to Havre High School. With regrets expressed by one board member, the trustees unanimously approved Miller's recommendation.
Miller made valid points that now is simply not the time to add new activities. While public testimony has made the point that boys' cross country would be relatively inexpensive to add, under the Ridgeway Agreement, if a boys' activity is added a girls' activity must be added as well. Unless the board is willing to challenge Ridgeway in a higher court, the system cannot add just one boys' sport.
Now is not the time to start adding these activities with budgets being reduced. As Trustee Dave Milam said at the meeting, maybe sometime in the future.
Another problem is that with enrollment declining, if more activities are added there will be fewer and fewer students to participate.
The only justifiable way to add new sports would be to eliminate other activities to free up funding and reduce the number to split students among. Public testimony at previous hearings has shown that is not what most community members want.
Miller and the board made the right decision. Until enrollment and funding are at a level to support such an action, adding a new athletic activity at the high school should be put on a back burner.