The biggest news of the day is, in the big scheme of things, unimportant. It does not even rise to the level of triviality. It directly affects less than a hundred people in a depressed part of a depressed community in a depressed area of the nation. But I am one of those people, as are eight children I work with every day.
A year ago, facing a massive $39 million budget shortfall, the Toledo Public Schools cut cross country among many other programs. I have coached cross country for most of the 17 years I’ve taught in TPS. When the cuts were announced, the kids came to me and said they still wanted to run, so we formed a club team and ran in road races and a few high school meets (which took some risk, as the OHSAA does not allow school teams to compete against non-school teams, which we were). I posted the end-of-the-season speech I gave my team last year, where I cited Edison Pena and how he used running to help him through a time when success was far from certain, and that we all can do this in our times of trouble.
Then, this morning’s headline in the Toledo Blade…
TPS restores cross country
City League commissioner of athletics Ed Scrutchins confirmed Wednesday that Toledo Public Schools will restore some of the athletic programs its board decided to cut a year ago when the district was attempting to offset a budget deficit of nearly $40 million.
Returning for the upcoming 2011-12 school year will be high school varsity cross country for boys and girls, as well as a modified version of four sports at the junior high level.
The eight kids that have been putting in the miles every morning with me will have a real team and a real season. We head out to a one-day multi-team running camp at 1:00 this afternoon. We will be the celebrities.
What’s on today…