CUSD Lacrosse Coaches Unaware They Could Lose Their Stipends

Capistrano Unified places some high school sports' coaches on the chopping block to balance next year's budget.

The lacrosse head coaches at three local high schools said they did not know their jobs could be a casualty of 's worst financial crunch in years.

“This is tragic news,” said Glen Miles, who coaches lacrosse for the boys’ team.

disclosed documents which detailed how the district could cut $11 million from its budget without having to negotiate with employee groups. Even with those moves, it would .

Among those possible cuts include the stipends for all high school lacrosse coaches, along with assistant coaches in varsity football, boys and girls soccer and boys and girls basketball.

“In my opinion, this is tough for the lacrosse community as there have been a number of individuals who worked hard the last decade-plus to have the sport accepted by the high schools and districts,” said Joel Schmit-Kallas, coach for the boys team at .

“This sport has been spreading like wildfire across the United States, and it's another opportunity for a kid to branch out and grab a hold of something which they can care about,” Schmit-Kallas said.

In February, then-interim deputy superintendent Robyn Phillips recommended to the Board of Trustees eliminating those budget items that are “nice to have” but not essential.

Capo spokesman Marcus Walton did not respond to questions about whether the loss of lacrosse coach stipends – which total nearly $46,000 district-wide – means the end of the sport at the high school level.

Marshall Neal, head coach for the boys team at , said he’d volunteer to coach for free.

“I have coached for over 20 years. It is a commitment to my sport and giving back to the lacrosse community,” Neal said. He figures the $3,200 stipend he received this year from the district broke down to about $7 an hour after all the time he put into the team.

“Last year, I donated my stipend to buy equipment for the program that the school was unable or unwilling to do. The loss of a stipend would be disappointing but will not prevent me from coaching,” he said. “The value of my contribution to the school is important to me.”

Lacrosse has been growing so fast in popularity that .

“I'm not saying this sport is going to die because of the district cuts,” said Capo’s Schmit-Kallas. “I'm saying it's going to be that much harder to try to sport because the barrier of entry is now that much more expensive.”

Neal does fear that as budget cuts threaten other sports, families that can afford it will flock to club teams.

“Should all sports become solely funded by parents, which could be a reality, the issue of equal access in public schools will raise its ugly head,” Neal said. “I hear the . It may drive high school sports into the club system where you have to pay to play regardless.”

The role of sports cannot be downplayed, Miles said.

“High school sports are critical to the development of others-centered student athletes. High school athletes learn teamwork, leadership and commitment to a cause greater than one self.  These are critical life skills and our survival as a nation of young people depends on our young people learning these skills,” Miles said.

“My question for the board is, if we don’t teach them this through their education, where are they going to learn it?” he added.

shelly June 01, 2012 at 05:03 AM
southcountynative, No, I have a son graduating from a wonderful school district. He had fantastic teachers, a great education, life long friends and wonderful experiences that he will remember forever. I do not see our school district or the teachers as an infected wound. You stated that your children came to school already reading and implying that kindergarten teachers are just window dressings and do not deserve their pensions and their salaries. So why even bother with the virtual schools if you have taught them the core of their work? Some of us believe that teachers are skilled and professional and worth every penny. We see and appreciate what they do. So do you also have the view of why have a lacrosse coach when you can just pull up a you tube video and show the kids the basics? Right? Why waste the money? Is this what you are saying? Not everyone agrees with you about our schools and district and our teachers. We are in a crisis that was not caused by our district, our teachers or even your favorite villian, illegal immigrants. I will bake the cookies and donate the money as I already do because the kids are worth it. All kids are worth it. Not just my own but all kids.
OC Mom June 01, 2012 at 05:13 AM
@Yeparoo, Re: your 1:23pm comment. You'd think that the pensioneers and Government employees might be more concerned about what could happen as more baby boomers retire and the young workers (already deep in college loan debt) are forcibly taxed to pay for the pensions. I think this younger generation who have been indoctrinated with moral relativism, pro choice and no absolutes in life may choose to end the lives of those they are forced to pay for. Some of you baby boomers who are now collecting government pensions should be concerned that forced Euthanasia could happen. What if this dumbed down generation who hasn't been taught morals or critical thinking skills decides their ability to shop aimlessly in the mall, wine and dine etc. is more important than paying your pension? What if they decide to kill handicapped people whose quality of life doesn't meet their standards? It would be the ultimate irony. We have rewarded mediocrity in the schools and worried more about hurting students feelings than teaching them. I remember hearing that the teachers wouldn't use red ink to correct mistakes because it would hurt the students' feelings. C'mon, it's easier to see, identify and correct the mistakes if you use red ink.
shelly June 01, 2012 at 02:10 PM
southcountynative, The mathematical and moral way? The reality is that the economy tanked and there is not enough money to fund programs. That is the mathematical reality of the situation. Illegal immigrants and teachers had nothing to do with this. The lacrosse coaches had nothing to do with this. The calculus teachers had nothing to do with this. The choral teachers had nothing to do with this. The business and banking world with its six sigmas and profit margin bottom line brought down our economy not the teachers and coaches or the illegal immigrants or kids who have been bullied. Where did the art go? Take a look at NCLB. It does not value or test art. . There are many artistic geniuses but academic failures. CUSD has art. CUSD has sports. CUSD has academics. The state is not funding CUSD at the level it needs to because the economy tanked and it was not the fault of teachers, our district or the illegal immigrants or the kids who are bullied. Kids and people do need to be respected. Truly respected.
shelly June 01, 2012 at 02:15 PM
southcountynative, The reality is that programs are going to be cut. I understand the math.
mb June 01, 2012 at 02:15 PM
I didn't read every comment, but I'm disturbed by the fact that the editors feel it's okay to quote someone incorrectly. CUSD's problem stems from the unequal way school districts are funded by the state. Cutting stipends seems almost comical (but necessary) when the real issue is that this district is shorted every year by $50 million. I doubt it will do any good in the short term, but I would contact our reps, Waters and Harkey, and let them know we are not satisfied with their representation in the state.
randy June 01, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Or James Corbett?
Penny Arévalo (Editor) June 01, 2012 at 03:19 PM
No one was quoted inaccurately. Perhaps you should read every comment. :-) And seriously, you wouldn't want verbatim transcripts. People speak in half-sentences and jargon, incorrect words and ear-piercingly bad grammar.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) June 01, 2012 at 03:46 PM
@SCN, you're not the worst, but hitting the return key and forming paragraphs every once in a while wouldn't kill you! ;-)
Pam Sunderman June 01, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Yep...That is exactly what a mortgage is...borrowed money to pay for a bill (your house) that you don't have.
Pam Sunderman June 01, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Mortgages are more than a tax write-off for most people. If you (that's a rhetoric you) are just using a mortgage for a tax write-off you are certainly in a position to support the public schools. It would be great if you allowed me to speak for myself. Your opinion of my motives doesn't need to be stated in every post. I think people get the picture about your feelings towards teachers. Penny has stated before that it works best when we don't make this personal. On subject...coaches have been historically underpaid for their efforts. The hours they put in to work with students after school are rarely paid. The stipends are more of an honorarium than a compensation. This applies to every other after school program...academic, in the arts, student leadership and tutorial. It also applies to programs where teachers share their expertise with peers. This might be a way for that merit pay thing to be integrated into the pay scale. The extracurricular activities provided by public schools are responsible for many students staying in school, discovering their life path and developing the skills most valued in the work place (leadership, collaboration, cooperation, problem solving, work ethic, and innovation).
cusd mom June 01, 2012 at 05:04 PM
SCN, You honestly think there are a lot of people out there with the cash to pay off their mortgages? I guess I just don't know the right people....lol.....I'm sure there are many more who are under water.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) June 01, 2012 at 05:18 PM
You guys overall are doing a much better job at staying away from the personal. Have you read some other Patches and their flame wars?
Pam Sunderman June 01, 2012 at 05:29 PM
The rhetoric you means that I am speaking in generalities. Perhaps it would have been more clearly stated as "if one is just using a mortgage as a tax write-off." I am fine with you speaking in generalizations...you are entitled to your opinion. But please refrain from telling me what I think.
mb June 01, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Penny, I'm not going to lose any sleep over this, but it seems to me if you're quoting someone, it should be a direct repeating of what they said bad grammar, incorrect words and half-sentences. Otherwise you're putting your own spin on their words.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) June 01, 2012 at 05:48 PM
It's called paraphrasing, and journalists do it all the time. Pretty much everything NOT in a direct (double) quote is a paraphrase, in every publication from the New York Times to the Agoura Acorn. Even the internet doesn't have enough bandwidth for writing everything people say. You all could just listen to board meeting audio recordings or do your own PRA requests. I'm here for the people who want the summary. :-)
Penny Arévalo (Editor) June 01, 2012 at 05:50 PM
But the real question posed by this article is, were you aware of the proposed cuts? What do you think of them? Do you have alternatives? Is the community ready for what life looks like after the district cuts $50+ million from its budget?
Pam Sunderman June 01, 2012 at 06:01 PM
SCN, Save your fingers on the keyboard. I have no intention of answering personal questions on a blog. You are free to share any personal information about yourself. This is not about me and it is not about you.
Yeparoo June 01, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Pam Sunderman 9:04 am on Friday, June 1, 2012 Yep...That is exactly what a mortgage is...borrowed money to pay for a bill (your house) that you don't have. If this wasn't the internet, I would give you a hug !!!!
Yeparoo June 01, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Actually, because this is the internet, you will never get a hug. Sorry.
randy June 01, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Geez...Penny. seems its getting worse as you are going to release summary and outlook updates @ CUSD Monday, correct?
Penny Arévalo (Editor) June 01, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Next meeting is June 11, not this Monday.
randy June 01, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Scn - I believe now is right timing and right place for taxpayers to reform the public pension as it is heading unsustainable even new taxes initative passed. JB has to tone down the pension promises they made them in math error. Human error too.
Yeparoo June 01, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Green Party Leader Says Pension Math Bogus !!! Bob 'says' you can read the article in 2-4 minutes. http://ivn.us/2012/05/31/politicians-and-unions-hide-liabilities-for-public-pensions/ Bob (Morris) has been blogging since 2003 on progressive politics, the economy, renewable energy, cleantech, and antiwar. He helped organize antiwar protests from 2004-2007, some of which were massive. He was Co-coordinator of the Green Party of Los Angeles County Council from 2002-2004. His politics tend towards left-wing populism. He and his wife live in Silicon Valley. He is especially interested in issues that transcend party lines and bring people together. "...noting that that public pension returns there have averaged just 5.7% for the past ten years. Most other states have similar problems with overly rosy projections that do not track reality [Shelly, this means 'real world']. When that happens, pension funds have funding shortfalls. Assuming 8% but getting 5.7% means you will be 20% short at the end of ten years [Sorry Pam, this has been the lied for many years, not a by product of the housing crisis]." "This is known as 'pretend-and-extend'. Pretend everything is okay by papering over or ignoring financial problems then extend them into the future with accounting tricks [Shelly, same as evil corporations lying about #s]...."
Yeparoo June 01, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Cont "A further problem is that public pensions are allowed to use more permissive accounting rules for pensions that private pensions [evil corps], who use an average 4.8% return to calculate costs." And hear comes the Slippery Slope We The People of The USA are afraid of: "Public unions, quite naturally, oppose changes in pension calculations as they fear it could lead to the entire agreements being renegotiated. They also fear, not unreasonably, that such negotiations could be a pretext for union busting." Pam, you can mortgage a house. You can't mortgage a pension. Have a nice weekend.
Anonymous June 01, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Sharon. If your friends Tony Beall, Tom Russell and Jim Reardon gave back the money they got in those settlements as THEY PROMISED TO DO there would be enough for these coaches. It is amazing how two faced some of the bloggers on Patch are. Now you want to shut down Palisades, SCHS, Wood Canyon and other schools as part of the Oxford for profit franchise system. This problem was created by a bad economy and made worse by your friends Beall, Winsten, and Maddox.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) June 01, 2012 at 08:06 PM
There are no plans on or off the record that I know of to shut down all those schools. However, if you have any proof, PLEASE forward it to me. I would be happy to do that article. Until then, please be careful with accusations. Thanks!
bbq June 01, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Maybe the union will step up and cover the deficit with some of their big bucks. NO NEW TAXES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Capo Parent June 02, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Ah Pam, always the naysayer of the truth. Too bad you're wrong more times than right. Yes the teachers contract had restoration language if certain triggers were meet. Sadly, the triggers were not met, yet millions of dollars CUSD didn't have were given back. As for claiming the triggers were met, that's total BS. The union majority of the board refused to get a legal opinion or finding of fact though Ellen urged the board to do so. As noted in the second DA report, a majority of the trustees didn't want a legal opinion because they were scared it would be contrary to what they wanted to do. [Do you really think CTA spent $250,000 to bring joy and happiness to CUSD? It expected a return on its investment and it got it in spades or should I say millions of dollars.]
Capo Parent June 02, 2012 at 03:33 AM
So what have the unions done in CUISD to get equal funding for CUSD? They would be some of the biggest benefactors of increase funding. They're quick to jump on the tax more band wagon, but do nothing to get CUSD its fair share of the existing funds. Why is that? [I can't wait for Pam or Shelly or Anonymous to try and rationally explain this.]
Michael Huntley June 20, 2012 at 04:50 AM
I am a assistant varsity football coach and this news is devastating for all the sports involved. Lacrosse is a growing sport and it's a shame they might cut the coaches who work very hard. This could be the death of all these sports. Do you know how hard it is for a head coach to persuade assistants to come coach for free? This is a travesty.


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