• 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

    Obama to expand overtime pay for millions of workers

    by CBS/AP on Jun 30, 8:42

    President Obama, in an opinion piece appearing in the Huffington Post, announced that the White House is raising the threshold income level at which workers are exempt from overtime pay of time-and-a-half wages. The level is currently $23,360, according to the op-ed. Salaried workers who earn nearly $1,000 per week would become eligible for overtime pay under […]

  • News

    Department underscores hazard elimination after Anchorage construction death

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jun 30, 7:56

    A stark reminder of the dangers associated with construction — that’s what state officials are saying of a worksite death earlier this month. Samuel Morgan, who was working for Hartman Construction, was killed June 16 near 91st Avenue and King Street in South Anchorage after a trench caved in on him, according to the Anchorage Police […]

  • News

    Second Shell Oil drilling rig on its way to Alaska

    by Associated Press on Jun 30, 7:08

    Royal Dutch Shell’s second Arctic drilling ship, the Noble Discoverer, is on the move from Washington state to Alaska. KIRO-TV reports (http://is.gd/G0PLSO) the massive oil drill rig was escorted from the harbor in Everett by two tug boats and two Coast Guard vessels. The Noble Discoverer started its move around 4 a.m. and is moving […]

  • Mt. Marathon Race

    A look back at the history of Mount Marathon

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jun 29, 23:18

    As she prepares to take on one of Alaska’s most popular foot races, KTVA 11′s Emily Carlson takes a look at the colorful history of the Fourth of July Mount Marathon race in Seward. This year is the 100th anniversary of the running of Mount Marathon. The main event features a grueling 3,022-foot race to the […]

  • Crime

    Anchorage man sentenced in case of teen heroin overdose

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jun 29, 22:27

    A man who admitted to injecting heroin into a 14-year-old who later died has been sentenced on a single charge related to her death. Sean Michael Warner, 29, was sentenced to 18 years in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Sharon L. Gleason for the charge of distributing heroin. Warner pleaded guilty to the charge on […]

  • On-Air

    New treatment for breast cancer

    by Ivanhoe Newswire on Jun 29, 20:10

    A breast cancer diagnosis is scary enough by itself, and for many patients, making endless trips back to the hospital for radiation therapy adds to the misery. But a new radiation treatment offers convenience and peace of mind to a lot of women. In her twenties, Beverly Treat was a dancer and physically fit. A […]

  • Politics

    Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan reflects on his legacy

    by Alexis Fernandez on Jun 29, 20:08

    A cleaner, safer and stronger city — that’s the legacy Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan says he hopes to leave behind as he prepares to hand over the keys to the next mayor this week. Sullivan updated the public on the state of the city at the Make it Monday forum. He told the crowd he’s most […]

  • News

    ANSEP students test towers for earthquakes

    by Heather Hintze on Jun 29, 19:28

    High schoolers from around Alaska are shaking up their summer vacation with some hands-on math and science work. During the last week of their Acceleration Academy, Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) students tested their PVC pipe buildings to see if they were seismically sound. “My favorite part is just building it and seeing […]