• 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

    Slideshow: Knik 200 sled dog race

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 31, 20:10

    It was said that you could “feel the fury in the air,” as 30 teams left the start of the Knik 200 sled dog race at the Deshka Landing Airstrip Saturday afternoon in Willow. Finishing the Knik 200 is a test run for some of the mushers and their dogs, a preparation for Iditarod. “For a lot […]

  • Weather

    Weekend weather forecast

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 31, 19:51

    Sunny skies have taken over the Anchorage area and will be sticking around for the next five to seven days. High pressure has moved in from the west. It really has taken over all of the Interior stretching into the Northwest. This dry pattern will not allow any storm system to track in for about […]

  • News

    UPDATE: 2 in hospital after planes collide mid-air in the Valley

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 31, 15:36

    Troopers are responding to a plane crash in the Mat-Su Valley that occurred Saturday afternoon. Just after 1 p.m., Alaska State Troopers received a report that two aircrafts collided mid-air in the Valley, said AST spokeswoman Megan Peters. Authorities responded to two separate wreckage sites, in the area of Knik-Goose Bay Road and Vine Road. Both planes were […]

  • News

    Less than 50 days ’til Alaska sees 1st day of spring

    by Janessa Webb on Jan 31, 14:19

    While the Midwest and portions of the East coast have been shoveling their way out of a snowstorm, it’s well below average in the snowfall department across the 49th state. A large dome of high pressure took over the state Sunday afternoon, causing temperatures across the southern Seward Peninsula and North Slope to hit 30 […]

  • News

    McDonald’s around Anchorage to let customers ‘pay with lovin’

    by Sierra Starks on Jan 31, 13:57

      Imagine this. A customer walks into his local McDonald’s restaurant to order from the breakfast menu. “Two hash browns and a small coffee,” he tells the cashier, Matt. Instead of giving the customer his total to pay, the cashier says, “You know what? For your payment today, do you have your cell phone with […]

  • News

    UPDATE: Begich will not run for Anchorage mayor, will head company instead

    by Sierra Starks on Jan 31, 13:04

    Former Sen. Mark Begich’s next move is no longer a secret — he will not be running for the Mayor of Anchorage in this year’s election. The former senator has announced that he is instead creating his own company, Northern Compass Group. Begich says the company will focus on developing businesses and working on public […]

  • Sports

    Local Seahawks fans voice their support ahead of Super Bowl Sunday

    by on Jan 30, 23:11

    The Seattle Seahawks continue preparing for Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Ariz. Fans back in Anchorage are sending a loud message to their favorite team hoping the Seahawks win their second straight championship. Fans staged a rally early Friday night at Flat Top Pizza. It took place after they took part in another event at […]

  • News

    Former NFL player helps teens become successful, avoid trouble with the law

    by Dave Leval on Jan 30, 22:50

    Former defensive end Mao Tosi has tackled many people during his playing days in college and in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals. Being home in Anchorage, however, may provide his biggest obstacle. Ten years ago, Tosi created AK Pride, a program in which he teams mentors with kids in a variety of programs ranging […]