Putting Education Reform To The Test

Additional Florida School Security Could Cost $100 Million


School district leaders are asking for more money in the Safe Schools fund to upgrade security.

Two Florida Senate committees will discuss ideas to improve school safety and security in Tallahassee this week.

It’s an issue that is suddenly considered a priority for lawmakers.

Districts have been reviewing their security procedures since 26 people were killed – most of them students – inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. last month.

The Senate Education Committee convenes Tuesday to start work on what kind of safety changes are needed in Florida’s school districts.

On Wednesday, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education will look at the cost of upgrading security.

The “Safe Schools” fund spends close to $70 million a year on security. The money mainly pays for school resource officers in middle and high schools.

The Legislature will be asked to significantly increase that amount to pay for other security measures.

Dr. Wayne Blanton with the Florida School Boards Association said, “It will be in excess of $100 million” — an additional $30 million or so.

Blanton says he’s heard suggestions like adding panic buttons in classrooms, installing sturdier windows, and making sure all classroom doors lock from the inside.

School entry is also a big concern. District leaders plan to ask for help upgrading entry gates and surveillance cameras.


  • http://www.facebook.com/dzornow Dave Zornow

    NRA Executive Vice President Wayne La Pierre suggested On NBC’s Meet The Press last month that the right response to the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting was to arm school security officers. Last week a group of Sarasota, FL area public school teachers took an NRA idea about guns and schools and ran with it to a teachers-only firearms training class. Is there some common ground between gun advocates and educators? Cartoonist Dan White illustrates what a merger between the NRA and the NEA teacher’s union might look like. http://www.nyacknewsandviews.com/2013/01/dwhite_nranea201301/

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