• 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

  • Politics

    Meet the candidates: District 6 – Seat K – South Anchorage

    by Daniella Rivera on Mar 26, 16:00

    KTVA invited every registered candidate running in the upcoming Anchorage municipal election to an on-camera interview at our studios to discuss the following topics: Balancing the budget Public safety Introducing new taxes Addressing homelessness in Anchorage Plans for the future We also asked each candidate to submit a 300-word biography. The candidates’ full interviews and […]

  • Alaska troopers search for suspects in taxi driver’s robbery

    by KTVA / AP on Mar 26, 13:56

    Alaska State Troopers say they are searching for two men who robbed a taxi driver at gunpoint. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that a trooper news release says a driver for Arctic Cab picked up a man at Club Manchu early Saturday morning. Troopers say the man, who appeared to be in his early 30s, […]

  • News

    3 pilots inducted into Alaska Aviation Hall of Fame

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 26, 13:20

    Three pilots were inducted into the Alaska Aviation Hall of Fame Saturday night. KTVA’s Joe Vigil was the master of ceremonies at the event, which honored pilots Holger “Jorgy” Jorgenson, Sam White and J. Vic Brown Jr. The ceremony is a major fundraiser for the Alaska Aviation Museum, which preserves the state’s aviation history, past […]

  • Trooper-involved shooting leads to deaths of suspect, K-9

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 26, 12:02

    Last updated at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 26 A Wasilla man and a K-9 died Sunday after a shooting involving Alaska State Troopers, according to an online dispatch. The incident began around 2:50 a.m. during an attempted traffic stop in the area of Bogard Road and Helen Lane in Wasilla, trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters […]

  • Lifestyle

    Last call for the phone booth?

    by CBS News on Mar 26, 11:12

    For some of our younger viewers, a phone booth might as well be a monolith from another world. With Mo Rocca, we remember the good old days…  Some of you may recognize this coin-operated curiosity: It’s called a phone booth. Phone booths used to be everywhere, providing an office for agent Maxwell Smart … and […]

  • Lifestyle

    Here’s when hospital patients are less likely to die

    by Amy Norton / Health Day / CBS on Mar 25, 18:05

    Hospital patients may be less likely to die if they are treated during weeks that inspectors are checking on the staff, a new study suggests. In the United States, hospitals are accredited by a body known as the Joint Commission. Inspectors from the commission make unannounced visits to each hospital every 18 to 36 months, […]

  • News

    Trump budget proposal cuts funding for after-school, free meal programs in Alaska

    by Heather Hintze on Mar 25, 17:58

    One of President Donald Trump’s budget proposals could leave thousands of Alaska kids without after-school programs or summer lunches. Trump’s plan calls to eliminate $1.2 billion in grants for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers. In Alaska, there are about 5,700 students in 37 of those federally funded programs. The Mountain View Elementary School after-school program regularly […]

  • Sports

    3A, 4A champs crowned in ASAA high school basketball state tournament

    by KTVA Sports on Mar 25, 17:51

    The final games for the 3A and 4A classifications in the Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA) high school basketball state tournament were set to take place this weekend at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. Last weekend, the 1A titles were taken home by the Scammon Bay Lady Eagles and the Ninilchik Wolverines, while the Bristol Bay Lady Angels and Petersburg […]