More than $6 million is being sent to Palm Beach County's schools to beef up law enforcement.
The money is part of the funding in a new school safety law, which mandates that every school in the district has at least one officer assigned to it by the start of the next school year.
It's expected to cover the costs of hiring 75 officers, which would give the school police department more than 225 officers to spread out among the more than 160 schools the district manages. Local charter schools will get about 10 percent of the $6.1 million.
School District leaders say the hiring will take time, so local police agencies are pitching in for now, as we told you yesterday.
Also, the district is allowing all middle and high schools, as well as elementary schools with more than one point of entry, hire temporary employees for the rest of this school year. That money is coming out of the funding for substitute teachers.
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When the state doles out $97.5 million to hire more school police officers this summer, Palm Beach County School District officials expect to get enough to add 75 officers to its ranks of more than 160 – enough to cover all of its campuses from Boca Raton to Jupiter and west to the Glades as required by a new state law.
Until those hires can be made, the school district will make do with informal agreements with varying police agencies and by giving dozens of principals the means to make one temporary hire that can be used to put more eyes and ears where principals feel safety demands it, school district Chief of Staff Amity Schuyler said Monday.
About 10 percent of the county’s $6.1 million allocation will go to local charter schools based on their enrollment, while the district takes the remaining $5.5 million to cover more than 160 schools it manages, Chief Financial Officer Mike Burke said.