The ACE Fee. What is it For? Like, You Know, Line By Line.

HPISD parents are asking for more scoop about ACE (Athletic Commitment to Excellence) fees required for students playing school sponsored sports. While $250 does sound awfully high, the parents I’ve heard from would not question the amount  nearly as much if  they had more information about what it was used for. I’ve asked for a listing of exactly how the money has been spent over the past few years and also how it will be spent this year.

Here is what I have so far from Helen Williams with HPISD to accompany the super brief statement on the district’s website saying not much more than they promise to be good stewards of the money.

ACE fees came about back when recapture was first implemented in the early 1990s.  The fees are used to offset the cost of the athletic program, which includes stipends, payment for game workers, payment for referees, supplies, equipment, transportation, other travel expenses, awards, and other miscellaneous costs. The total cost for the athletic program runs in the neighborhood of $1.5 million, and ACE fees have totaled about $275,000-$375,000 over the last three years.
I was thinking of something more detailed. Developing.

7 thoughts on “The ACE Fee. What is it For? Like, You Know, Line By Line.

  • September 15, 2010 at 2:51 pm
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    ok…that’s interesting. What’s a stipend? If they are talking about the 500 each coach is allowed to get under UIL rules, that’s paid by parents/booster clubs. Surely they have more detailed accounting… Maybe not available to a blog, but wouldnt it be open records requestable?
    Is that 1.5 million a year? Including salaries? Is the Ace fee number a total for the three years or each year?

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  • September 15, 2010 at 5:20 pm
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    Let’s see — the ACE fee evidently goes to expenses incurred by a voluntary athletic program that goes beyond the simple PE class that the school must offer students under state education guidelines. So it’s really a bunch of programs subsidized by all taxpayers for the kids that choose athletics. Shouldn’t the costs of these “addon” athletic activities be solely borne by the students that participate?

    If we consider the highest ACE collection of $375K, that means there are 1500 athletes paying the fee. The actual cost to support these 1500 athletes is around $1.5M. Wouldn’t it be more reasonable to raise the ACE fee to $1000 per student?

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  • September 15, 2010 at 6:19 pm
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    My favorite part is “about $275,000-$375,000.” We wonder how government spending has collapsed the country over the past decade, when our own school district refers to $100K in the manner of a rounding error.

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  • September 15, 2010 at 10:58 pm
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    Wht doesn’t the Park Cities People file a FOIA/open records request (or the state/local equivalent) for this data? HPISD is a governmental agency, no?

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  • September 16, 2010 at 8:26 am
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    Stay on it, Merritt. All extra fees need to be researched. Like everything in the public sector, they need to justify every penny.

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  • September 16, 2010 at 9:20 am
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    @Matt– ONLY those students in Athletics from grades 7- 12 pay the $250 Ace Fee.

    I do think that other groups ie. Lads and Lassies, Band, Orchestra and theater have additional fees to pay.
    I’m sure it all goes back to Robin Hood.

    Reply
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