Board of Education approved comprehensive budget proposal that includes 31 additional security staff
June 28, 2019 – The Columbus City Schools Board of Education approved the addition of 31 Safety and Security positions for next school year as part of its comprehensive FY 2020 Budget Appropriations.
The additional positions included in the budget will increase the Safety and Security staff to 84 members across the District, up from 53 this year. This marks a significant step in providing a higher level of security for the District’s students and staff.
“Our top priority is always the safety of our students and staff. Meaningful teaching and learning cannot take place if our students do not feel safe and secure in their school buildings,” said CCS Superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon. “During my first 100 days, I kept hearing that we have some safety issues. I asked our safety director to create a plan that shows the additional resources we need to address these concerns. This plan will allow us to have an increased safety and security presence in our high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools.”
At its current staffing level, CCS has one security staff member for every 943 students. Next year, that ratio will be cut nearly in half to 1-to-595.
The District’s Safety and Security team is creating a comprehensive plan for the additional staffing but expects to see a significant infusion of resources at each level of the school district. The new staffing plan would include a strategic approach to planning, training, and analysis of the District’s security efforts.
Dr. Dixon toured the District’s security operations center on 17th Ave. on Tuesday, getting a first-hand look at the facilities alongside Director of Safety and Security Chris Ward.
“Our staff are instrumental in creating a safe environment in schools, but they also build relationships with students,” said Ward. “We want to ensure our schools have the support they need and that they are a safe haven for our students.”
“We want to provide safety personnel, but we also need to provide caring personnel,” added Dr. Dixon. “We need people who can build relationships with our students while at the same time ensure our buildings are safe.”
Columbus City Schools also has a total of 19 School Resource Officers (SROs) in partnership with the Columbus Police Department. The District expects to add three truancy officers next school year.
The Board of Education approved the comprehensive budget proposal at its meeting on June 18. The additional Safety and Security staff are expected to be in place at the start of the 2019-2020 school year in August.