With the school year ready to start across Michigan, state Rep. Peter Lucido is renewing his fight to provide financial relief for families saddled with ‘pay to play’ fees for extracurricular activities.
Lucido’s bill would provide an income tax credit to offset fees families pay for students to participate in sports, band or other extracurricular programs in schools.
“With students headed back to school, it is a great time to act on this bill that would boost participation in sports and other extracurricular activities,” said Lucido, of Shelby Township in Macomb County. “This would be the difference-maker for families struggling to make ends meet. They otherwise could not afford the fees required for their children to play sports, join a club or perform in a marching band.”
Participation fees are becoming more and more common in Michigan schools, with fees that often cost families hundreds of dollars.
About half the high schools responding to a 2016-17 Michigan High School Athletic Association survey said they charge participation fees.
National surveys show cost is often cited as a reason why students do not play school sports, with the participation fees most likely to sideline children from lower-income homes.
“The ‘pay to play’ fees drive down participation in sports and other programs, and that is bad for kids. They deserve better,” Lucido said. “Our plan will provide a much-needed incentive for parents to put their children in an extracurricular activity so they don’t find themselves in front of a television or a computer all day. These activities are important, helping kids become well-rounded and successful for the rest of their lives.”
Lucido’s legislation is House Bill 4014.