Parents need look no farther than the obscene benefits demanded by the teachers through the MEA to find a way to fix this problem.
As stated by the Detroit News in a concurrent article (http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20100512/OPINION01/5120316/1008/Editorial–Reforming-education-retirement-benefits-has-turned-into-a-money-grab#ixzz0niivArw1)
"Funding of teachers’ pensions and health care coverage eats up 16.5 percent of today’s annual school budget, or $360 per pupil, according to the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan."
In every case mentioned in the article on higher school athletic fees, the $360/pupil outrageous benefit enjoyed by the teachers (but not by their comrades in the private sector), if applied toward the children rather than the teachers, would cover all the athletic fees necessary for school operations.
If they are really interested in the children, and concerned about the latest Obama bug-a-boo, childhood obesity, the teachers and the MEA would immediately and unconditionally modify their contracts with the school systems to ensure this $360/pupil would be directed toward the payment of athletic fees.
Unfortunately, given the MEA president’s recent pronouncement "I don’t give a d*&n about the children. All I care about is getting the highest benefits for my teachers.", I am not hopeful the teachers will cooperate and really demonstrate they care about the children.