Three cheers for the West York Boys Club.

The community organization last month offered to save the local middle school's cheerleading program, which was one of several cut by the cash-strapped West York Area School District.

Surprisingly, the school board rejected the generous proposal, instead suggesting the club make room for the cheerleaders on its rosters.

In all, three cheerleading programs were cut, including teams for West York Middle School's football, basketball and wrestling teams.

At the time, we didn't understand the refusal.

Shouldn't the district be taking any help it can get, especially in times like these?

Superintendent Emilie Lonardi has said state and federal funding dropped in the past several years, and the district lost millions of dollars in commercial property reassessments.

"This year has been excruciating for all of us," she said in February. "Absolutely excruciating."

That same month, the district announced 29 staff cuts to help offset a $1.5 million deficit for 2014-15. In addition to eliminating the cheerleading program, the school board cut the ninth-grade football and cross country teams, and combined several coaching positions.

It was so bad, Lonardi said the district wouldn't even be able to fund field trips next school year.

District officials should have been doing cartwheels when the Boys Club offered to lessen the pain a bit.


It didn't make sense – until this week.

Apparently, the school board and administration misunderstood the club's offer.

Lonardi said she and the board thought the club's coaches would take over the program but keep the middle school name, which could cause conflicts if discipline or academic issues arose.

Not so, she discovered at Tuesday's school board meeting.

During the public comment period, West York Boys Club president Eric Pomeroy clarified the organization was offering only to pick up the tab – the coaches and program would stay under the oversight of the school district.

"Tonight I heard 'Your coaches, your program, we'll pay,'" Lonardi said. "If that's true, we're good."

We're glad that's settled now who wants to fund a field trip?