School Resource Officers Could Cost District More
The City of Waukesha is asking the School District of Waukesha to pay up to 30 percent of the costs to run the school resource program at the three high schools.
The program is in partnership with the Waukesha Police Department and cost about $300,000 each year. Previous contracts called for the school district to pitch in $60,000 of that costs. However, the new four-year contract calls for the school district to pay $75,000 annually in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years and $90,000 annually for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.
“It has been seven years since the district’s share has increased; yet, the share borne by the police department increases annually based on inflation and bargained agreements,” Police Chief Russell Jack said in a letter to Superintendent Todd Gray.
When the school resource officer program was partially funded by the grant, the school district and the city paid an even share of the costs. But when the grant ran its course, the school district began to experience budgetary problems, said School Board Member Joe Como.
“The city was gracious enough to pick up 80 percent of that remaining amount and us 20 percent,” Como said.
While School Board Member Ellen Langill question why it appeared that the cost were going up by 50 percent, Como clarified that it’s the school district’s cost that is increasing to about 30 percent of the total cost.
Paying 30 percent of the school resource officer program “is a little more reflective” of the work the police officers do working with safety programs in the district and teaching classes.
“They are building great relationships with our students,” Como said.
The school resource officers are involved in different things every day, including:
- Safety plans for the school
- Problem solving issues
- Alcohol and drug abuse education
- Classroom presentations
- Questions and answer sessions
- Cyberbullying and sexting
- Drug searches
- Counseling students
- Mediating problems between students
The Waukesha School Board will vote on the school resource officer contact during its November meeting.