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Orange Board to Reconsider Stipend Issue

The Orange Unified School District’s board of education will consider at its Thursday meeting restoring coaching stipends, said Neil McKinnon, assistant superintendent of education.

At the heart of the matter is about $240,000 trimmed from the budget before the 1992-93 school year, said Dave Zirkle, the district’s athletic director.

District coaches walked off their jobs in August, 1992, disrupting practices for fall sports, in protest after an across-the-board 50% reduction in stipends. Two days later, they returned after the board decided instead to eliminate 13 coaching stipends, mostly for lower-level sports.

At the time, Zirkle said district officials agreed to reinstate that money before any new sports were added. The district is now considering adding golf, boys’ volleyball and girls’ volleyball for the 1997-98 school year.

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“There are two issues, whether to reinstate the money cut or to go on and fund three new sports,” McKinnon said.

Zirkle wants both. He said he would like the board to approve $320,000 to be divided among the district’s four high schools--Canyon, El Modena, Orange and Villa Park. Of that, $80,000 would go to the new sports.

McKinnon said the coaching stipends cut came to about $115,000. Zirkle, however, also wants reinstated the money cut for transportation, advisors and trainers.

“We want Saturday buses back, Christmas buses back and Easter buses back,” Zirkle said.

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The issue came up during the past school year, when the board approved $6,000 to fund a girls’ water polo program for the first time at Villa Park, Zirkle said. The other three high schools also received $6,000, though none had such a program. The schools used the money to pay for coaching stipends that had been funded by booster clubs since the cuts.


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