The Fairfax County School Board voted last week to provide funds to establish junior soccer programs for high school boys and girls.
The board also voted to continue a long-standing policy prohibiting interscholastic competition at the intermediate school level.
In the 8-1 vote favoring JV soccer, the board committed itself to providing $137,414 in 1979 for the sport. That figure is expected to ease concerns of athletic directors who wondered where money would come from to support JV programs which were being requested by parent and student groups in Fairfax County. An estimated $25,000 to 30,000 youths play socc er in the county.
Board member Ann Kahn voted against funding JV soccer, expressing concern that "those funds are not included in the 1979 budget, but now we are committed to providing, the money."
Superintendent S. John Davis forwarded the soccer budget requirements to the board with the notation that "approval is in principle, but budgeting will have to be looked for," Kahn said.
"I understand that soccer has encouraged a great amount of participation, probably to a greater extent than other sports," she said. "My problem is that we've incorporated it without knowing where that money can be found. Budget cuts for it could come from anywhere."
The JV soccer budget included $14,500 for transportation; $29,040 for 44 coaching supplements (a boys' coach and a girl's coach at each of the county's 22 high schools), costing $600 each; $86,394 for start-up costs of uniforms, equipment and supplies, and $7,480 for officials.
"The start-up costs stagger me after there are already varsity programs which have supplies," Kahn said. "I can't see any reason at all for a separate coach for the boys' and the girls' teams."
Athletic directors agree that coaches are hard to find because the pay is low when compared with the time involved. One athletic director, who echoes the feelings of others, countered that finding one person to coach both a girls' and a boys' team at onetime for supplement "would be almost impossible."
In voting to continue the policy prohibiting interscholastic competition for intermediate schools, the board turned down a request made recently by George Lowrance, PTA presidents at Whittier Intermediate School in Falls Church.
Lowrance said that in the past occasional but unofficial atheletic competition against other intermediate schools developed "school pride" that helped ease vandalism, racial tension and drug-related problems at Whitter.
Last week's vote, however, reaffirmed the board's belief that "more kids can participate in an intramural program, not just the superstars, but those kids who need the involvement in sports," said Kahn.
Others close to Whittier agreed.
Kahn said that Whittier "had good reasons" for wanting interscholastic competition "considering how it helped in developing school pride," but that the 21 intermediate school principals had been polled and only Whittier's Glenn Muhle favored interscholastic play.