Iowa superintendent seeks funds for school security jobs
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — A school superintendent is asking Iowa lawmakers to allow him to spend reserve funds on security enhancements and additional staff in the wake of a deadly school shooting in Florida.
Davenport Community School District Superintendent Art Tate hopes to add a district-level security and safety specialist, school resources officers, security guards and a permanent mental health coordinator. He estimated the additional positions will cost $1.5 million, the Quad-City Times reported .
Tate has reached out to some lawmakers to tap into the district’s more than $30 million in reserve funds. Tate has limited time to get his plan approved because legislators hope to end the session April 17.
“I can’t do it with the resources I have,” Tate said.
Last month’s mass shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida, left 17 people dead and sparked a nationwide debate about gun control and school safety. No school district is immune from violence, Tate said.
“When you look at the list (of school shootings), it’s rural, it’s city, it’s rich, it’s poor,” he said. “None of us are immune. It’s not like I have to worry and other districts don’t, and we’re all vulnerable to a point.”
Tate’s proposal is compelling, said Democratic Rep. Cindy Winckler.
“We’ve done several things this year that have placed districts in a difficult situation if they don’t have any spending authority,” she said. “So, this is one that is very important. I know how seriously Dr. Tate and other school districts take the safety of our children and their responsibility to make sure they are as safe as possible.”
The district is using money from the Secure an Advanced Vision for Education fund to add cameras and swipe card entry access at school entries. The fund doesn’t cover adding personnel.
Information from: Quad-City Times, http://www.qctimes.com