In a rush to do the right thing, Tallahassee passed a law to protect the safety of Florida students, however, they failed to provide adequate funding to implement and enforce the law, leaving the ownership to the county school districts.
In an effort to help the Lake County School Board, the Clermont City Council unanimously agreed to enter into an agreement with the School Board and the Education Charter Foundation of Florida to provide four police officers at Clermont Elementary School, Cypress Ridge Elementary School, Lost Lake Elementary School, and South Lake Imagine Charter School.
The four officers will be assigned to the elementary schools within the City of Clermont while school is in session and reassigned to the city during the school holiday. Currently, the district has an officer or deputy in middle and high schools in Lake, none in elementary schools
The annual cost for the four school resource officers is $279,653 plus a one-time cost of $211,280 for equipment. The School Board and the Education Charter Foundation will pay a percentage of the cost this school year. A referendum will be placed on August’s Primary Election ballot to raise the countywide property taxes by .75 millage to help fund school security.
“Clermont will dig down and fund the four resource officers this year, but we expect the County to contribute next year”, said Councilmember Ray Goodgame.
To further ensure the safety of students, the Lake County School Board voted to allow eligible school administrators who volunteer and meet training requirements to carry guns on school campuses and serve as armed responders to active shooting incidents.
The SOUTH LAKE TABLET recently conducted a random survey asking our readers to voice their opinions. The results are in:
Who should handle school security?
81.25% Local Police/Sheriff Department
10.42% Armed Security Guard
8.33% Armed School Administrator
Do you feel school administrators should have a gun on school grounds?
8.16% Not Sure
Do you think guns on school grounds will make schools safer?
12.24% Not Sure
Who should pay for security at schools?
83.67% State Funding
12.24% Lake County School Board
4.08% Local Police Departments