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Hermantown School Board Votes to Reinstate Cheer Team's Funding

Updated: 04/28/2014 10:33 PM
Created: 04/28/2014 9:23 PM WDIO.com
By: Maarja Anderson

The Hermantown School Board voted 4-2 to reinstate the high school cheer team's funding during their Monday meeting. The vote comes just two weeks after the board approved to cut the team's district dollars.

School officials said the cut was part of larger district-wide cuts. The school board asked the administration to cut $250,000. The cheer program was budgeted $2,500.

Monday night, the girls cheered outside the Hermantown administration building following the vote. They had a paper and online petition to fight for their funding. They also made signs and picketed, hoping to gain support for the board meeting.

Now, with their funding reinstated, the girls said it was all worth the work.

"I'm so happy. I'm so proud of us and everyone that helped us," said Delaney Deloyd.

"I'm pumped for cheer, I'm pumped for tryouts, I'm pumped for running, I'm pumped for anything that could come our way right now," said Courtney Martin, also a junior.

But the vote to reinstate their funding didn't come without discussion.

The boardroom was full of supporters wanting to voice their opinion. The team's coach, a former Hermantown cheerleader, and the team's captain all stood up to speak.

One parent asked the board why they had to find out about the funding cut in the paper.

"You represent our children and us. We pay your wages and we have the right to know what's going on," said Hermantown parent Chad Scott.

The board acknowledged communication is something they need to work on in the future.

But the vote not unanimous, so there was some discussion between the board.

Board members who supported reinstating the funding said they didn't have enough information when they made the cut at the last meeting.

"We were not blindsided with the fact that cheerleading was on the reduction list however,...I was completely caught off guard and blindsided that we were cutting the entire program," said board member Laura Thorsvik.

Thorsvik motioned to reinstate the program with district funding at the start of Monday's meeting.

Those opposed argued that in the same round of cuts full-time positions were cut in the elementary school, which would impact class sizes in the future. They said those cuts, however, didn't get any attention from the community.

"I am very concerned with the precedent we may be setting here, by saying that it's okay to cut classrooms, just don't touch extra-curriculars," said board chair Greg Carlson.

The reinstated funding will allow the girls to hold try-outs for next fall's team before this school year is over.

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