High School Sports

Booster clubs creating economic inbalance in CMS athletics

Butler head coach Brian Hales and Mallard Creek’s Mike Palmieri (right) both have agreements with major shoe companies to help equip their team in apparel
Butler head coach Brian Hales and Mallard Creek’s Mike Palmieri (right) both have agreements with major shoe companies to help equip their team in apparel WWW.MICZEKPHOTO.COM

WBTV, the Observer’s television news partner, recently reported on a somewhat hidden disparity within Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ high school athletic programs: booster clubs.

At the start of each school year, the report says, CMS provides each school with about $7,000 to support its athletic budget. CMS supplements that money with additional funds to help pay for security and game officials. Beyond that, schools are largely left on their own to fund stadium improvements, equipment and uniforms.

At some schools, booster clubs have helped fill those gaps. But some booster clubs, the report shows, are much larger -- and much more profitable -- than others.

Ardrey Kell, for example, has about 500 members, each paying between $50 and $400.

Garinger has three members.

Click below to see the full report.

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