DIGHTON, MASS. (WHDH) - Parents, students, and coaches say they are not happy after the Dighton-Rehoboth School Committee voted to ax all extracurricular activities for the upcoming school year.
Sports, music, clubs and even the prom have all been canceled due to lack of funding. School Committee Chair Katherine Cooper said it was a tough decision but, either the activities or nearly three dozen teachers had to go.
Nearly 3,000 children within the regional school district will be unable to participate in their chosen activities next year and dozens of concerned community members came out to voice their opinions Thursday.
“We had no good option here,” Cooper said. “It was a very difficult decision for the school committee and it is just a very difficult situation to be in.”
The Dighton Rehoboth School Board voted to cut funding to all sports due to a budget shortfall.
Players who went to the Division 4 Super Bowl last year were still practicing in the rain ahead of the important school committee meeting. Hoping against hope things would change.
“The kids are very upset. They are very concerned, ” head football coach Dave Moura said. ” They are worried that they are going to start the school year off with no sports.”
Christopher Hoskins, co-coordinator for the Save Our Schools organization said, “There’s no prom advisor, there’s no spirit week advisor. We bring in thousands of canned goods to the Rehoboth food pantry every year at our spirit week can drive.”
Voters in Dighton approved extra funding for the schools but voters in the larger town of Rehoboth have not.
“It is unfortunate that the two towns are at odds with each other and you know, this could be a great community, this could be a great school,” Coach Moura said.
Officials with the school say they were between a rock and a hard place.
They either had to get rid of teachers or after-school activities.
“We had originally laid off 31 teachers and we were able to bring almost all of them back,” Cooper said.
At the meeting, some funds were allocated to act as a band-aid to the problem.
The hope for the school children is that voters in Rehoboth will call for a Prop. 2 override allocating more tax money for the schools.
Even if this happens, the process could take about six to seven weeks to be approved.
The first day of school is in seven weeks.
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