Most boards are made up of a couple who ran because they think sports are the most important concern, a couple who only worry about cutting cost no matter what it does to the education the schools provide, and a couple who actually believe that the quality of the education is the most important function of the board.
In my experience, talk of cuts to the sports programs consistently get the most attention, and the most attendance by the public, at school board meetings. One board member at a neighboring district told me that not having the cost of mowing and maintaining the natural grass would make artificial turf a cheaper option. This is a district that graduates around 60 kids a year-they now have turf.
Maybe, if we heard as much about the highly successful scholars as we do the wrestling, football, and other athletic stars, people would think more about what the focus should be. And I am not anti-athletics. I just think we have allowed our priorities to get a little out of wack.
I think school sports are important and should be kept. I do agree the money that is spent on the fields and stadiums is ridiculous though. Like you said no money for books yet the money that is spent on fields and stadiums is ridiculous.
I agree that the sports aspect needs to be kept. It's part of American culture. Those who wish to follow other activities are free to do so....no harm\no foul. But do we really need some of this stuff? Likely not.....but taxpayers will turn their heads when it's "somebody else's money."