Spotsy School News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County schools. You can email him at

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Swimming NOT on the budget chopping block in Spotsy

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At Monday’s Spotsylvania School Board meeting a number of concerned residents voiced support for the division’s swimming program, spurred by comments made by member Baron Braswell at a recent meeting about reducing athletic fees.

At the previous meeting, focused on the 2015 budget, Braswell wanted to know “how far the surface was scratched” to find additional funds to absorb costs, especially to reduce athletic fees. Braswell advised that some more-expensive sports, such as swimming, could be cut to help fully fund other sports.

No athletics cuts were included in Superintendent Scott Baker’s budget proposal.

At the beginning of Monday’s meeting, Chairman James Meyer addressed concerns about the swimming program, saying he has heard “a lot of buzz that the School Board will be cutting swimming. The School Board will not be cutting swimming. We have not discussed cutting swimming. It was given as an example for how to cut athletic fees.”

Tara Hefner, Spotsylvania’s teacher of the year and Courtland High School boys and girls swim team coach, was one of those who spoke to support swimming,

She said she had heard from concerned parents about the future of the swimming program.

“Swimming is not merely and expense, but an investment,” she said.

Braswell said during his comments later, “First of all, I am a big advocate for all athletics. If I had my way we wouldn’t cut any sports. We would bring back sports that were cut in the past. The reason why I made the comment was not to recommend to the board to cut swimming… I view the activity fee as a regressive fee. …There is a time to sunset it.”