The Albemarle County Schools school board has decided not to cut the district’s swimming programs, according to local Charlottesville NBC affiliate WVIR-TV.
In an article from Tuesday, WVIR reports that at Tuesday night’s budget work session, the board has said that cutting the swim program to save $29,000 was no longer a part of its plan to make up a $7 million shortfall. They did, however, say that across-the-board funding cut on sports in the county could happen. The district has 5 high schools with just over 5,000 students combined, and so if the costs of funding these athletics programs are more directly placed on the participants, it would be reasonable to expect as small as a $10-$20 increase per student-athlete to cover the cost of saving the swim program.
The district’s most well-known swimmer, YMCA Nationals medalists Remedy Rule, is just one of a significant number of Division I swimming talents that comes out of this district.
We have received reports, that as of yet we’ve been unable to confirm, that there was a deal in the works in 2008-2009 that would have greatly reduced the cost of the swim teams. The school district presently doesn’t own any of the pools used, and therefore the teams have to pay rental fees to other facilities. The Virginia Gators, a USA Swimming club, and Albemarle County were working on a deal where the county, not the school district, would have put up a chunk of money to help build the pool, and in exchange the county’s schools would be able to use the pool rent-free.
That deal was torpedoed by the school board, who felt that the up-front money would come out of their budget, whether that be directly or indirectly.