Overton County Schools hoping to work with Livingston Police and Overton Sheriff’s Department to provide student resource officers at every school.
Director of Schools Donnie Holman said in the past, the school system would apply for state grants that provide funding for SRO salaries.
“Some of those grants are going away, and it’s not that we’re not filling out the process it’s that they’ve changed,” Holman said. “Now, if I understand this correctly, it’s up to the Police Department and the Sheriff’s Department to complete those grants. I wish we would could help them, but it’s on their side to do.”
The City of Livingston recently budgeted some $107,000 to help cover the salaries for SROs at schools in the city limits. Schools further out in the county are covered by the Sheriff’s Department.
According to State Speaker Cameron Sexton, as he understands the grants are to be rolled into the base number in the new school funding formula set to start next school year. Holman said while that may be true, this year they are gathering data to determine how much funding they receive that could potentially go to cover SROs.
“And it’s my understanding that there will be some leeway, there will be some extra money there, that could be there to be used as we see fit,” Holman said. “It doesn’t mean there’s a lot and I’m sure there’ll be requirements on that as there are on everything else and as there should be. But I think there is a possibility that there could be some money through TISA, through the new funding formula, that we can use towards school safety. That’s what we’re hoping for anyway.”