COLLIER COUNTY, Fla - Changes to Collier County after school programs are in the works and parents are not happy.
A group of Elementary School parents started a petition after they learned of plans to cut the after school program known as Sports CLUB.
Sports CLUB is a mix of academics and athletics, but now some principals are choosing new programs geared more towards academics.
"We no longer have the choice of Sports Club. If we want our children to stay after school, they'll be in the district run program no matter what, so the teachers made that decision without parent input," says parent Erika Donalds.
Parents are also upset about a mandatory price increase. In a statement to WINK News, the school district says:
"In 2009-2012, there was an RFP which after presentations, assigned only two vendors in set zone schools, no choice. This effort was undertaken after years of after school care programming and the belief that trying a single provider-based program per school may be worthwhile, as we had multiple providers in the same location which caused many concerns. After three years and feedback received it was believed that the program needed to be further refined based on school choice and equity of program. An extension was granted last year so we could study the concerns of many and bring back options. The concerns of many were centered around lack of choice, as the previous RFP assigned programs to schools, and inequities among the programs; including schools that had no after school care. No one has ever sought to remove Sports Club. To put the matter in context, the original Request For Proposals was up in 2012. ASP and Sports Club entered into a written agreement for an additional year to continue the existing program with an August 2013 ending date. The providers knew the original RFP was up and it was time for a new one which would open the process to potentially new provider candidates. After some eight months of analysis and discussion, an RFQ was posted on May 10, 2013. Sports Club freely participated in the Request For Qualification submission and presentation process with other providers. Sports Club knew, along with the other participants, that after presentations, Principals would choose the provider or choose to set up their own programs. In fact, prior to presentations, there was a special Q&A session held that was attended by Sports Club, ASP, AlphaBest, and Grace Place representatives in which the process, program structure, fees, etc. was discussed. At the end of the day, Sports Club was chosen to provide services for several schools. They just do not have as many schools as last year. New providers were chosen that were not previously part of the process such as AlphaBest and the YMCA."
The Board will vote on the changes at its meeting Tuesday.