CPS asks parents how to possibly spend school resource officer funds
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools are asking parents how to spend extra funds from the possible elimination of the administration's School Resource Officers.
In the online survey, the district said it has $200,000 dollars allocated in its budget for SROs. CPS detailed that the funds for SROs is part of the budget for mental health along with school counselors, outreach/crisis counselors, home school communicators, and school psychologists.
The survey began July 8th with responses varying from keeping the SROs, hiring private security, or moving the funds to pay for other mental health areas.
John Yaeger, a CPS parent, said he thinks the money should help parents.
“There's a number of places they could put it, we’ve had problems with transportation for our children, after school programs, anything that puts it back in to help parents get their kids in school, even help single parents,” said Yaeger.
City Manager John Glascock said in a press release on the budget for workforce reductions that SROs could be eliminated and transferred over to the city’s Community Outreach Unit.
Dale Roberts, the executive director of the Columbia Police Officers Association responded and said they disagree with the City of Columbia’s proposal and that SROs are here to help.
“School Resource Officers also act as protectors and can react immediately to threats that may endanger our children,” said Roberts in a press release sent out on July 7.
Another CPS parent, Mohammad Badran, said that above all he wants the schools to be safe.
“I still think they should still do something to keep the schools safe, that's very important,” said Badran. “I still think safety is number one and if they can maybe somewhat divide that instead of shifting the whole thing, I’m for it.”
Glascock’s draft budget will be presented on July 24th for city council and the public. While budget sessions and hearings will be held in August and September before a final budget is implemented.
For the CPS parent survey on the possible reallocation of funds, click here.