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BOLIVIA—County commissioners have agreed to help fund school resource officers (SROs) at the county’s elementary schools.
The funding was officially approved at commissioners’ Jan. 22
meeting, although board members had already agreed in principle when school officials and county officials met with sheriff’s office officials at a joint meeting Jan. 7.
One day later at their regular meeting, the board of education voted unanimously, 4-0 to allocate $245,838 from the fund balance to offset costs for deputies for the rest of the 2012-2013 school year. School board chairman Charlie Miller, the sheriff’s chief deputy, recused himself from that vote.
“I ask you to approve
a budget amendment on the heels of the meeting with the school board where you came to an understanding on funding the (schools resource officer) positions,” Sheriff John Ingram said at the Jan. 22 commissioners meeting.
There were two budget amendments to consider.
The first reimbursed the county $245,838 for salaries and benefits for nine elementary SROs from school system funds. The second transferred $314,013 from the school capital reserve to the sheriff’s operating budget to provide vehicles, equipment and uniforms.
The equipment payment is anticipated to be a one-time cost.
Chairman Phil Norris made a motion to approve both amendments, “with the understanding we will not be asked for additional funding for the school system.”
Commissioners approved moving the money unanimously, 4-0; commissioner Marty Cooke was absent.
The funding approved by both boards pays salaries of the nine SROs for the last six months of the budget year.
Edward Pruden said at the Jan. 7 joint meeting the school system could continue to find funds if the county would continue supporting the fund agreement.
Since 1995, the county has agreed to provide the school system 36.5 percent of the local tax rate.
The 2013-14 SRO funding will be included in the funding agreement, as long as the fund agreement receives an extension.
Brian Slattery is a staff writer for The Brunswick Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or firstname.lastname@example.org.