Let me write that again, a 60 MILLION dollar HIGH SCHOOL football stadium!
Business Insider reported that Allen High School, in Allen, Texas, has recently finished the construction of a football stadium that can seat 18,000 people with money left over from a $119M bond package approved by voters in the district after it was determined that all other buildings’ needs had been met.
I am speechless. That is an ENORMOUS amount of money to spend on such a lavish thing as a high school stadium. I love football as much as any red-blooded American, but I cannot believe that this money could not have been re-appropriated to more constructive uses, such as some kind of mentoring program, new books, increased teaching assistants, etc. I realize that bond measures are very specific and usually need to follow very exacting guidelines for construction-only purposes, so I guess I’m more struck by the fact that they opted to raise this much money to the point of excess, without trying to raise it for some other education-related purpose.
I really don’t mean to pick on the residents of Allen, Texas. It is more of a reflection on what our country truly values, nowadays. Having played team sports for my high school many ages ago, I still feel that athletics should NEVER trump academics in a high school. But that is often the case–often to the student-athlete’s detriment, and, more often, to the non-athletic students’ detriment as well. I have seen teachers who were chosen more for their coaching abilities than their teaching abilities, and it is disheartening. I think students deserve to go to schools that value a great education over an exciting extracurricular and social life.