Washington State Amendment 704
On January 31st of 2018, the Washington State House of Representatives adopted a bill that would dramatically impact Chiawana High School. This bill argues that since studies have shown that students involved in extracurricular activities have better grades, attendance, and wellness than less involved students, the price of ASB cards and club dues should be reduced to $5 for those who receive free or reduced lunch. Considering that Chiawana is the largest school in Washington with 2,776 students, our ASB fee is currently $20, and 62% of our students qualify for free or reduced lunch, this would decrease our annual ASB budget by approximately $18,000. School districts with less than 2,000 students would be eligible for grants that would make up for this loss of money, but we are well over that limit.
The ASB account funds several programs, clubs, and sports when they need money and do not have the time or ability to fundraise. For example, this year’s International Club needed a loan from ASB for a deposit on plane tickets that would enable them to go through with their annual summer trip to Japan. Without ASB funds, they would have had to seek out another way of acquiring the money needed that could have ended up being far more complicated and expensive.
If the bill were to provide money to larger districts to make up for the money they will lose, this would be a great way to increase student involvement. Although the bill as it stands may have the positive effect it promises, it will decrease the number of competitions and trips students are able to attend as well as take away funding that pays for equipment and facilities. Grants are already in place for students who wish to be involved but do not have the funds for an ASB card, which nullifies the bill’s purpose.
To ensure that CHS extracurricular activities continue to thrive, sign your name electronically below to tell the State legislature that we, as the students and supporters of the largest high school in Washington, do not support Amendment 704.