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Charly Haley, Published September 24 2012

D-G-F Legion team loses funding from school district

DILWORTH – The Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton School District will no longer sponsor D-G-F American Legion baseball, as announced at Monday’s school board meeting.

“We can no longer provide direct financial support to American Legion,” said D-G-F School District Superintendent Bryan Thygeson.

The decision was made based on Minnesota Department of Education and Minnesota High School League policies that prohibit schools’ public funds from being used for the program, Thygeson said.

“I think the superintendent was given a direction from the Minnesota Department of Education and he needs to follow that,” said D-G-F American Legion Coach Al Kruger.

The school district provided about $10,000 this year for the Legion baseball team and covered a minimum of 50 percent of the program’s budget in the past.

There will still be an American Legion baseball team without school district funding, Kruger said.

“We have a very good baseball club that will take over management and funding,” he said.

The D-G-F baseball club already helps American Legion, and Kruger said it will be ready by next summer to run the team.

“Nothing will change except where the money comes from,” Kruger said.

One strategy the baseball club is considering is to increase their advertising program at the baseball field to raise more funds, he said.

Although the school district can no longer provide direct financial funding, Thygeson said they will discuss other ways to help American Legion, such as free usage of the baseball field and school equipment.

The issue of American Legion funding was first brought to light in early August, when the team was disqualified from a state tournament as a result of multiple incidents, including hotel damages and unsportsmanlike conduct.

Thygeson said he was not aware of the school’s financial affiliation with American Legion prior to that.

“I was worried it was an issue,” he said, and he contacted the Minnesota Department of Education to check the regulations.

Several parents of American Legion players were at Monday’s meeting, voicing concerns and questions.

The school board’s decision to discontinue sponsorship of the team was unanimous, but “with regret,” some of the board members said.