Suburban Phoenix High School Swim Teams Cut, Denied Chance to Self-Fund

The Tolleson Union High School District, a Western suburb of Phoenix, Arizona, has decided to cut the swimming programs at its 5 high schools in an effort to slash the district budget. The Phoenix area has been hit particularly hard by the economic crisis, and this has forced government agencies, including schools, to reduce spending

Along with swimming, the 5 schools (Westview High, Copper Canyon High, La Joya High, Tolleson Union High, and Sierra Linda High) also lost their cross country, golf, and tennis teams.

But this is not the big news. Sometimes, school districts have to make choices, and if the taxpayers are not willing to shell out the money for a publically funded school system, choices have to be made.

The big news is that Westview High School found tax payers willing to put up the money to keep the program going for at least a year, but the district said no.

After a massive fundraising effort, led by Roscoe Luekenga, the swimmers at Westview were able to collect the $25,000 it would take to keep their swim team in the water for at least another season. The School District, however, decided that it wouldn’t be fair to the other schools in the district that weren’t able to raise the money to save their programs.

It seems odd, at least to me, that these swimmers should be denied swimming when they received the best community support possible, money. This seems to be an unfortunate example of the politics of a public school system preventing an easy and fair solution to a problem.

The Westview team members will be able to swimming their swimming careers at the local Southwest Valley YMCA club team, thanks to a generous donation by city Councilmember Jim Buster.

If you feel the need to express your opinion on the school district’s decision, the following are the email addresses of the School District’s Board of Governers.

Mr. Jose Arenas, President: [email protected]
Mr Alberto Coronado, Vice-President: [email protected]
Mrs. Kimberly Owens, Board Member: [email protected]
Mr. Freddie Villalon, Board Member: [email protected]
Mr. Mike Watson, Board Member: [email protected]

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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