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School Safety Budget Cuts, Part 4

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Strategies brought up at the state level include reducing training costs by collaborating with state agencies, and finding ways to approach new sources, such as asking for proceeds from traffic citations, or tying in mental health issues with school safety.


Departments/Offices of Education


  • Due to Title IV ending, there is no longer funding support for model programs that have been in effect for over 15 years.

    • There are not enough staff to monitor curriculum revisions and teacher trainings.

    • Provision for and advocacy of youth development programs has decreased.

      • Teachers continue to act as advisors without financial support but due to budget cuts this will likely change.

  • The County has applied for additional funding:

    • Tobacco Use Prevention Education funds

    • County Asset Forfeiture Fund

    • County Behavioral Health Department's Mental Health Services Act funding

  • The County is no longer eligible to receive Drug-Free Communities grant funds.

  • Competition for national grants seems grim. As a large state competing for funds, providing district support at a reasonable level is difficult. As a rural area, the County might not always have the resources to compete for available grant funds.


  • The Division of School Safety experienced a 70% reduction in funding and has lost all but two staff members.

  • To offset travel costs associated with onsite services such as trainings, school safety assessments, or technical assistance, the Division has begun requesting districts to reimburse these costs.

  • The Department utilizes school resource officers and trained school safety administrators to assist with school safety assessments and accreditation, which benefits both the Department as well as individual schools by having "inside" information on accreditation issues.

  • The Division has collaborated with the US Attorney General's Office, state Attorney General, state emergency management agency, and state Regional Counter Drug Training Academy to furnish instructors and training sites at no cost.

  • The Division will be seeking a $1 apportionment for all traffic citations issued in the state with the proceeds to fund the center and safe and drug free schools programs.


  • The Department provided a copy of their impact statement regarding the loss of Safe and Drug Free Schools funds.

  • ARRA/SPSF funds will help replace 75% of Safe Schools funding; without it, funding would be zeroed out.

  • Two new, small funding sources (approximately $300,000) and SDFS carryover will enable most of the Department's training initiatives to continue through 2010-2011.

  • The Department's strategy moving forward is to identify sources of funding who share the schools' concerns (e.g., Department of Justice, Homeland Security, Mental Health, School Reform) and to ask LEAs to pick up part of costs through registration fees, etc.


  • The Office utilizes a blend of tobacco settlement funds, student assistance funds, and SDFS funds to support nine regional prevention centers that provide 295 districts with technical assistance and programs that address all four phases of safety planning.

    • These centers will lose 25% of tobacco funds, all their SDFS funds, and about 100 of 253 student assistants.

  • The only additional funding received is a $90,000 budget provison from the legislature to assist districts with safety plans. This funding is allocated on a year-to-year basis and is under continual threat.

School Safety Departments/Centers


  • Colorado School districts have experienced fiscal difficulties with layoffs, wage freezes, and other cuts for over two years.

  • One larger school district reported a 30% decrease in their security budget, resulting in staff reduction of about 35% and the elimination of 24-hour facility coverage.

  • Overall, the loss of state Title IV formula grant funds resulted in the elimination of 1.0 FTE.

  • The Department experienced a 20% budget cut in 2008, had 8 furlough days, retains only four staff members, and will experience an additional 5% reduction to their General Funds for Operating Expenses in 2010.


  • The capacity in schools to deal with safety/crisis management has been significantly reduced with the change of Title IV funding and with state reductions in funding to education.

  • The Center is collaborating with other state agencies and school groups to offer joint training.


  • The Center, although closed as of June 2009, continues to receive support from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, who has agreed to continue to maintain the Center's website and resources.

  • Retired employees volunteer their time to provide limited online support and basic safety coordinator training.

  • The infrastructure provided by the network of safety coordinators is still intact and strong.

  • The Center's annual 6-hour training will still be held using registration fees to cover costs.

  • The Missouri School Boards Association continues to host a school safety conference with funding support from the Office of Homeland Security.

    • Attendance has dropped as organizations are finding it difficult to pay for travel to such events.


  • The School Safety Program's budget was cut down to $2,800 for 2010-2011.

    • If the legislature were to go into special session for additional budget cuts, this position -- therefore, the entire program -- would be cut.

  • As people retire, positions are not being filled so money can be used to keep existing staff.

  • The Center is applying for local grants from places such as Optimist Clubs, Masons, and Scottish Rites organizations.


  • Many staff members of the Safe and Drug Free Schools regional centers are being moved into other departments, such as mental health, where there appears to be more funding available.

    • Some departments have been successful tying in mental health issues with school safety.


  • The Center is funded through a line item in the budget out of state general funds for four positions.

  • The Center receives funding (5%) from a School Resource Officer Grant for administrative services and training.

  • The Center works extensively with the Virginia Department of Health who has issues that cross the school's borders, such as suicide prevention, sexual assault, and injury prevention.

  • The Center has not been hit by education reductions since they operate independently of the state education department, and school and campus safety remain a high public safety issue.

Responses from the following eleven (11) states reported that, to date, they have either received no budget cuts related to safety and security or have been able to retain their budget amounts and staff levels:

  1. Colorado -- (1)
  2. Connecticut -- (1)
  3. Illinois -- (1)
  4. New Jersey -- (1)
  5. New York -- (1)
  6. Ohio -- (1)
  7. South Carolina -- (1)
  8. Texas -- (2)
  9. Utah -- (1)
  10. Virginia -- (2)
  11. West Virginia -- (1)

A few respondents stated their districts are actually experiencing increases and stability in the amounts budgeted towards school safety and security, including alcohol and drug abuse prevention efforts. Some credit for this stability was given to funding received through REMS and EMHE grant awards. Credit was also given to members of the district financial team who were able to head off budgetary constraints in advance through strategic re-organization and planning efforts.

Other districts, such as the response from Utah, stated they have cut costs by streaming funding and services through community agencies. This school district reported they work with the Red Cross (who provides CPR/First Aid training for free; the district covers certification costs), they have collaborated with the police and county sheriff's department to allocate grant funds to purchase security cameras, and they work with the United Way, who recently submitted a Promise Neighborhood grant that will benefit the schools.

Nonetheless, many respondents noted that the future is unforeseeable when considering the 2011-2012 school budgets. Districts may not have experienced significant cutbacks yet, but as the recession continues to have a broad impact on the national economy, budgets and budget line items may be up for reconsideration.



Report Series

  • School Safety Budget Cuts, Part 1 - Can schools balance the availability of funding and staff with the task of educating our nation's youth in a safe and secure environment?
  • School Safety Budget Cuts, Part 2 - The elimination of several significant funding sources (e.g., Title IV, Safe and Drug-Free Schools) from both national and local budgets has also resulted in the elimination of entire programs that provided a framework for school safety and prevention efforts.
  • School Safety Budget Cuts, Part 3 - Strategies cited by districts include adopting a consultation-education model, negotiating with vendors to maintain previous contract prices, using REMS grant funds, and partnering with local response agencies, the Red Cross, and United Way.
  • School Safety Budget Cuts, Part 4 - Strategies brought up at the state level include reducing training costs by collaborating with state agencies, and finding ways to approach new sources, such as asking for proceeds from traffic citations, or tying in mental health issues with school safety.



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