Madison Co. Schools can't afford more resource officers - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Madison Co. Schools can't afford more resource officers

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Madison County Schools has a list of unfunded needs. Madison County Schools has a list of unfunded needs.

As the Madison County School District struggles to make ends meet, beefing up campus security has been added to the wish list of unfunded needs.

The district says it simply does not have the money to hire more school resource officers.

The fact there are not nearly enough SRO's to go around is unsettling to some parents. They say having an officer stop by a school every so often is not enough. They want to know why the district only has a handful of school resource officers compared to neighboring districts.

Currently, school resource officers are being stretched thin at Madison County Schools. The district has just 6 SRO's to cover its 27 campuses.

Five of those SRO's are funded by Madison County Schools. They are assigned to the three largest high schools in the district. Two SRO's cover Sparkman High School and the Sparkman 9th Grade Annex. Another SRO covers the Hazel Green High School cluster. A fourth SRO covers Buckhorn High School, while the other SRO is located at the Central Office and covers the Madison County High School cluster and the New Hope High School cluster.

A private donor pays for the sixth school resource officer who is specifically assigned to Monrovia Middle School.

"We just do not have the funding to pay for SRO's. We would love to have one at every school," said Madison County School spokesperson Geraldine Tibbs.

It costs the district $250,000 a year to pay for five school resource officers. The district would need an additional $1 million to have an SRO at every school.

"There are a lot of needs that we have in Madison County, but we do not have the funds at this point to cover them all," said Tibbs.

Obtaining more SRO's is on a long list of unfunded needs. The district could also use five new school buses and more text books, amongst many other things.

Some parents wonder why neighboring districts have more SRO's, or in the case of the Limestone County School District, an SRO at every school.

Madison County Schools says it just doesn't get the same kind of funding.

"We rely on sales tax and state funding to support us," explained Tibbs.

Madison County Schools is already facing a budget shortfall. In nothing short of a miracle, the district would need more private donors to step forward.

"Our board members are open to any suggestions we can get and any funds that we can get to come up for the safety of our schools," added Tibbs.

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