CMS Wants Big Bucks To Beef Up School Security
CHARLOTTE, NC- Calculating the cost of school safety in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools.
CMS developed a plan for nearly $34 million dollars in security upgrades, but it's under a lot of scrutiny.
The school board signed off on the upgrades, but county commissioners are making it clear that the cost makes it a hard sell.
"They're using our taxpayer money to do something. They might as well put it to good use," said Charles Rosser, a North Charlotte resident.
Rosser has two kids in CMS. He says $33.7 million dollars in safety upgrades is money well spent.
"With what's been going on in society today, I think that'll be the best thing for CMS to do," said Rosser.
The district laid out it's plan to county commissioners Tuesday.The proposal includes $13 million for fencing around all 159 schools, $16 million for security cameras at elementary and middle schools and more than a million dollars for electronic entry at all schools.
Commissioners spend almost two hours drilling the CMS chief operating officer about the costs on Tuesday.
"The things I've laid out are the things we really are lifting up as needs in the school district to develop the kind of consistency in terms of security that we'd like to see," said Millard House, COO of CMS.
Something not included in the proposal is additional manpower like more school resource officers or someone to monitor the additional cameras. Right now, CMS says there are no school resource officers in elementary schools.
But that's something parent Beth Suydam says is needed to deter intruders - no matter what the cost.
"I think we need to do all we can do to avoid tragedies," said Suydam.
"Especially so they won't get scrutinized later on down the road an run into a Newtown incident," said Rosser.
County commissioner will revisit the safety upgrades on March 19.They want CMS to provide more information on needs for each school in the district.