• 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

  • DayBreak

    Made in AK: New book highlights the unpredictable life of a commercial fisherman

    by Daybreak Staff on Dec 17, 10:45

    A well-known fisherman and author is out with a new book that gives readers an inside look at life at sea. Dave Atcheson spoke with KTVA’s Daybreak Wednesday about “Dead Reckoning: Navigating a Life on the Last Frontier, Courting Tragedy on Its High Seas.” The 199-page book offers a hair-raising account of Atcheson’s time on […]

  • Sports

    UAA women’s basketball reaches No. 3 spot in new poll

    by KTVA Sports on Dec 17, 10:09

    The UAA women’s basketball team climbed six spots, from ninth last week to third this week, after sweeping McKendree over the weekend. It was the first time this season the Seawolves broke the top three. They also received one first place vote. The Seawolves, who are 9-0, were ranked No. 3 in the USA Today […]

  • Crime

    Teen sentenced to 7 years for robbery, shooting

    by Associated Press on Dec 17, 9:56

    A Fairbanks teenager involved in a shootout during an attempt to rob a drug dealer has been sentenced to seven years in prison. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://bit.ly/1DP4QGR) reports 17-year-old Chester Clifton Fields Jr. fired a 9mm handgun that hit a man whom he and an accomplice were trying to rob. Cross was 16 on […]

  • Lifestyle

    Anchorage wins $25,000 concert grant

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 17, 8:35

    The Anchorage Downtown Partnership’s Live After Five summer concert series is getting a big financial boost. The organization won the Levitt AMP Grant Award, which is worth $25,000. Anchorage is one of 10 small to mid-sized cities across the country to receive the money. Anchorage Downtown Partnership staff had to put together a proposal highlighting […]

  • News

    Obama to start normalizing U.S. relations with Cuba

    by Stephanie Condon / CBS News on Dec 17, 8:30

    The Obama administration announced Wednesday that the United States is taking steps to restore full diplomacy with Cuba, a historic move that will end 50 years of frozen relations the communist nation. Since entering the White House, President Obama had expressed interest in normalizing relations with Cuba. The breakthrough announced Wednesday came after Cuba agreed […]

  • Sports

    Aces defenseman earns his first AHL call-up

    by KTVA Sports on Dec 17, 7:49

    Aces defenseman Brad Richard is leaving the team. But that’s a good thing for him. He’s been promoted.

  • Weather

    Daybreak weather, Dec. 17

    by Brett Shepard on Dec 17, 7:34

    Mostly cloudy today in Southcentral with a few rain and snow showers likely. In the Southeast skies will be mostly cloudy with some rain showers possible. In the Interior skies will be mostly cloudy with a few snow showers possible. On the North Slope skies will be mostly cloudy with patchy fog, flurries and breezy […]

  • Sports

    UAA men’s basketball nabs win against Portland Bible

    by KTVA Sports on Dec 16, 23:10

    On Tuesday night, the UAA men’s basketball team found their stroke and found their way back to the win column.