Janesville School Board to consider keeping officers in middle schools

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David Brazy
Saturday, June 11, 2011
— The Janesville School Board could decide to bring back police officers assigned to the district’s middle schools after the positions were cut earlier this year due to a budget shortfall.

The board eliminated the three school resource officer positions in a vote May 10. The officers, each assigned to a different middle school, cost the district $124,258 for the 2010-11 school year, according to district records.

According to a document to be presented at Tuesday’s school board meeting, the board has four options: keep all three positions; have two officers serve the three schools, have one officer serve the three schools; or leave all three spots open.

The administration recommends extending the district’s contract with the city until Oct. 31.

Currently, the contract expires July 1, ending the positions at that time.

The administration recommends re-evaluating the budget later in the year to determine if the district can afford the officers.

Police Chief Dave Moore recommends that the school board keep all three officers. He said they provide a vital service to the students, including education, crime prevention and a safety presence.

“Clearly connecting with these students early in school builds relationships for a lifetime,” Moore said. “Anything less than three will provide for sub-standard service. All of our school liaisons and school resource officers are busy for 40 or more hours per week.”

If all three positions are cut, Moore said, he will leave two police department spots vacant due to the lost funding from the district.

On the agenda

The Janesville School Board meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Educational Services Center, 527 S. Franklin St.

The agenda includes:

-- Finding alternative funding, including fundraisers or donations, for the longstanding elementary school track meet held at the end of each school year. The meet will not be included in the district’s budget for the 2011-12 school year.

-- Clarifying the language of a previous decision to mandate all new buses entering the district’s fleet contain three-point seatbelts. The previous language did not include small buses.

-- Hearing a presentation regarding additional money the district will receive due to the closing of the city’s Tax Incremental Finance District No. 14. The district plans to use the money to help fill a deficit in the 2011-12 operating budget.

-- Reviewing the district’s harassment, bullying and complaint procedures.

-- Considering revisions to the district’s legislative priorities for the next year. Currently, the top priority is maintaining local control of area schools, including revenue and negotiations with employees.

Last updated: 5:40 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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