• 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

  • Sports

    Friday’s high school football recap

    by KTVA Sports on Aug 28, 22:57

    The weekend is off to a rousing start. The top-ranked team in the state, West survived a late charge by #2 Dimond, winning on the road at Alumni Field 18-13. The Eagles took an 18-0 lead into the half as Julo Tagalu scored twice and PJ Seui added a touchdown run. At Palmer, the Moose got their first win of the […]

  • Sports

    Service H.S. quarterback suspended

    by Dave Goldman on Aug 28, 22:42

    Service High Football will have to regroup. Sophomore starting quarterback Xavier Harris has been suspended from school. He will not be in uniform for Saturday’s game with Soldotna. “All we can say is we have a young man that’s been suspended from school and he will not be on the roster tomorrow.” said Service Head Coach […]

  • Weather

    Evening News Weather, Aug. 28

    by KTVA Weather on Aug 28, 22:26

    Kenai Peninsula/Prince William Sound Expect partly cloudy skies Saturday with highs in the upper 50s and low 60s.   Southeast Showers will be likely as an area of low pressure continues to churn up gulf moisture into the Panhandle. Highs will be in the mid 50s.   Interior/North Slope For the Interior, expect a chance […]

  • News

    Eating Alaskan at the Alaska State Fair

    by Shannon Ballard on Aug 28, 22:06

    It’s not hard to find people who like to eat their way through the Alaska State Fair. Beth Foglesong is one of them. Every year she stops at the Pristine Products booth to slurp some fresh oysters from Prince William Sound. “The people that like them come every year,” said oyster farmer Dave Sczawiaski. Sczawiaski’s oysters […]

  • Lifestyle

    Presidential Visits to Alaska: Memorable, if not quirky

    by Rhonda McBride on Aug 28, 21:55

    With all the build-up to President Barack Obama’s visit to the 49th State next week, it’s worth a look back at past presidential visits. They’re far and few between. Usually Alaska is not the destination, but a refueling stop for Air Force One. What’s significant about this trip is the length of stay. Obama is […]

  • News

    President Obama to announce Denali Commission as lead agency on community relocation project

    by Emily Russell / KNOM on Aug 28, 18:05

    The U.S. Arctic Research Commission was in Nome this week discussing Arctic issues ranging from international shipping to climate change. One presenter in particular unveiled a key detail about an initiative President Obama is expected to announce during his visit to the state next week—involving relocation efforts for rural villages in the face of climate […]

  • News

    Governor issues state disaster declaration for Sitka landslides

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Aug 28, 17:46

    Alaskans suffered the aftermath of several landslides in the Sitka area on Aug. 18, but a state disaster declaration from Gov. Bill Walker’s office on Thursday may help restoration within the community. The landslides claimed the lives of three Sitka men and caused significant damage to buildings, roads and other structures in the area. The […]

  • Politics

    Lawmakers seek Supreme Court intervention in Medicaid expansion

    by Associated Press on Aug 28, 17:44

    Alaska lawmakers have turned to the highest court in Alaska in a last ditch effort to stop the expansion of Medicaid. A state-court judge on Friday rejected the request by lawmakers to temporarily block Gov. Bill Walker from expanding Medicaid while the judge considers the merits of the case. Lawmakers sued after Walker decided to […]