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Parents worry about athletic trainer shortage in Howard County Public Schools

Posted at 11:13 PM, May 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-25 23:13:35-04

HOWARD COUNTY, Md. — Howard County Public Schools are the latest to feel the effects of an athletic trainer shortage.

“There have been many incidents that I’ve seen in school where an athletic trainer is vital to a kid's safety and health," said Bill Holland.

Holland, a coach and father to two student athletes in Howard County Public Schools, says he is concerned about the lack of availability for athletic trainers.

Holland and other parents are advocating for having trainers staffed at all sporting events and practices at the schools.

Another advocate is Superintendent Michael J. Martirano, who attempted to add space for funding trainers in the county budget.

“I added the 12 positions; obviously, it did not make the final cut of our budget based upon the priorities of which we established for our classrooms. However, we continue to have the services which we have now with contracted services with our athletic trainers using various firms in which we work with to do that," said Dr. Martirano.

The contract the county currently has is with PIVOT, and although it doesn't have enough trainers to be at all schools due to staffing, this issue isn’t isolated to Howard County.

Dr. Martirano says he wants the parents to feel confident that he is working to resolve it.

“It's at the top of my list for everything that we do regarding the safety of our young people, so another prong is addressing the athletic trainers. It’s another way to keep our young people safe,” said Dr. Martirano.

Dr. Martirano says the county will continue its partnership with PIVOT but also look for ways to ensure all of the positions are filled by the beginning of the next school year.