It got worse in East San Jose last night.
Here's an update on the story that we brought you yesterday about the East Side Union High School District consideration of cutting all sports programs at their 11 schools across the East Side.
The superintendent of schools for the ESU proposed $11.4 million in budget cuts at a board meeting last night, including $2.1 million from the athletic budget.
$2.1 million IS the athletic budget.
In front of what I'm told was an overflow crowd full of coaches, athletes and parents, the board passed the tentative budget plan, which may change before the June state deadline to have their budgets for 2010 and beyond set in stone.
I exchanged voice mail throughout yesterday with Jeff Borges, a PE teacher and the head football coach at Andrew Hill High School; the last I heard from him, he was on his way to the board meeting. I'm hoping to catch up with him this morning and get his thoughts on what happened last night. Here's an excerpt quoting Borges from this morning's San Jose Mercury News:
"Shame on you and the people who are responsible for even bringing this up tonight," said Jeff Borges, a coach at Andrew Hill High, before a standing-room-only crowd that filled the board room and spilled into the lobby. "You say $2 million in sports, I say get rid of an administrator at each school and the problem is solved."
The Oakland Athletics and San Jose Earthquakes, the Bay Area's MLS team, are trying to work out a plan to help save athletics for the ESU, which is a noble effort from each team. I'm hoping that this isn't the end-all, there are other very successful teams and organizations that can help prop up the programs and support the school's struggling booster programs.
Like I said yesterday, cutting all athletics would be a disaster for thousands of kids who are going to high school in run down and crime-ridden areas of San Jose. Said one sign at yesterday's meeting: "Sports keeps me out of trouble."
Is there any simpler way to put it?