• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 51s

High school swimmers prepare for proposed cuts

By Alexis Fernandez 7:49 PM January 29, 2014

The Anchorage School District is proposing eliminating swimming classes at high schools to help with a $23 million budget shortfall.

ANCHORAGE - As the Alaska State Legislature debates whether to increase student funding for the Anchorage School District, the high school swimming community is bracing for proposed cuts to its program.

Freshman Delaney Heckert, and sophomore Elizabeth Heberling love to swim. In fact, it’s their favorite class at Bartlett High School.

“I’m able to be with other people … to have contact with people so I can make new friends, and able to make new friends and I’m able to just have a fun time,” Elizabeth said.

But it’s more than just fun. It’s a class where nearly 600 high school students across Anchorage learn how to swim every year.

“It really comes in handy, teaches kids how to swim if they don’t know how,” Elizabeth said.

But come next year, swimming classes could be gone.

The Anchorage School District is proposing eliminating the course at all high schools to help with a $23 million budget shortfall.

In total, 24 classes would be canceled at six of the eight high schools in Anchorage. It would save about $270,000. This would not, however, impact swim teams and special education programs that include swim classes.

“It’s the single most expensive class we teach,” said Michael Graham, a spokesperson with the Anchorage School District.

The cost is so high, Graham said, because the district has to rent the high school pools from the Municipality of Anchorage, which is in charge of operating them.

“If you look at the personnel cost and the rental cost that it takes to teach a single period or two of swimming, it becomes very expensive,” he said.

Last year, the district said it spent $400,000 on high school swim classes alone.

“Certainly discussed in the past, but because we have valued it as a skill, we wanted to make that opportunity available for kids, but we have come to the point where can no longer afford that,” he said.

But for some students, it’s their only opportunity to get in the water.

“There are so many people who still want to learn how to swim, and if you cut swimming classes, then they really won’t have a chance,” Delaney said.

For now, students are safe in the water.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Downtown Anchorage business owner calls 2015 ‘worst year’ for Fur Rondy

    by Bonney Bowman on Mar 03, 17:42

    The Fur Rendezvous festival usually brings an annual influx of people and money into downtown Anchorage, but this year, it looks as if Mother Nature had different ideas for the Fourth Avenue festival. No snow forced organizers to cancel the dog sled races, typically Rondy’s biggest draw. Event organizers say the unseasonably warm temperatures, lack of […]

  • Weather

    Alaska February climate numbers

    by Brett Shepard on Mar 03, 15:28

    February 2015 climate numbers for Anchorage, Annette, Barrow, Bethel, Cold Bay, Fairbanks, Juneau, King Salmon, Kodiak, Kotzebue, McGrath, Nome, St. Paul and Yakutat. These numbers were compiled by data obtained from the National Weather Service. Synopsis – The “winter that wasn’t” continued into the month of February as it was warmer than normal for the […]

  • News

    Tuluksak emergency generator fails

    by Ben Matheson / KYUK on Mar 03, 15:28

    Tuluksak residents are now on the backup to the backup electric generator. The state flew out a second generator after part of the fan assembly failed Thursday, leaving the community without power for days for the second time in four months. Power was restored Sunday afternoon. Emily Ford is the Energy Policy and Outreach Manager […]

  • Crime

    Anchorage man sentenced to 9 years for armed bank robbery

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 03, 13:34

    An Anchorage man was sentenced to 9 years in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to robbing a local bank and threatening a bank teller with a gun. James Surrells, 44, was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Ralph R. Beistline to serve 108 months in prison for robbing the First National Bank of Alaska on Northern Lights […]

  • News

    Buddy Holly plane crash investigation to be reopened?

    by CBS News/Associated Press on Mar 03, 12:11

    The National Transportation Safety Board has agreed to consider reopening the investigation into the Iowa plane crash that killed musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, and pilot Roger Peterson. The Globe Gazette reports that the board has agreed to consider another investigation after receiving a letter from L.J. Coon, an experienced pilot from New […]

  • Lifestyle

    Prehistoric tool found in Sitka landslide

    by Shannon Kemp on Mar 03, 11:56

    Two hydrologists taking geological samples from the site of a landslide in Sitka made an unexpected discovery — what appeared at first to be a “cool weathered rock” instead turned out to be a prehistoric hammer. Sitka Ranger District hydrologist Marty Becker and Tongass Forest Supervisors Office hydrologist K.K. Prussian were collecting rock samples in […]

  • News

    Voter registration deadline looms for Anchorage election

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 03, 11:46

    Anchorage residents have until Sunday, March 8 to register to vote in the April municipal election. Residents must be at least 18 years old on Election Day — April 7 — for their vote to count. This Sunday is also the last day you can update your voter information, according to a release from the municipality. […]

  • News

    House votes to fund Department of Homeland Security through September

    by Jake Miller / CBS News on Mar 03, 11:42

    They came, they saw, they blinked. The House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday funding the Department of Homeland Security through the end of September, effectively ending a congressional standoff that nearly shut the department down at the end of last week. The bill, identical to a measure that passed the Senate last Friday, passed […]