Flagler County Commissioners consider cutting funding for School Resource Officers

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. — The Flagler County School District could lose half of its funding for school resource officers and deputies. That is because the county commission is looking at cutting its portion of that funding.


The county gives the school district $1.4 million dollars a year. $1 million is dedicated to paying for those positions.

The possible changes came to light in a letter sent to the Flagler School’s Superintendent by the County Administrator. In it, the county asks to meet with the school to discuss a transition plan.

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Sheriff Rick Staly said he was blindsided by the news and believes the need for deputies is greater than ever.

“Those campuses are huge, they are teenagers and things happen. You need more than one law enforcement officer on those campuses because they are like small cities,” said Staly.

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His point was echoed by school board member Cheryl Massaro, who explained while state law requires districts to have at least one armed person on every campus, deputies have the most power to take action in an emergency.

“A guardian, they cannot interject when there is a fight in the cafeteria, they can’t go to help. The only way they can engage is if there is an active shooter, said Massaro.

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Right now, there are deputies in every elementary and middle school and two in each high school. Chair of the Board of Commissioners Andy Dance said he also is not in favor of cutting those positions, but said the county has to weigh its options.

“Has the school district exhausted all of their possible funding sources?  I think we go down that route and see what is available, what they still have to utilize and then the community, the other municipalities and governments can chip in,” said Dance.

No formal decisions have been made. These are just very early discussions in overall budget planning. The county and district are scheduled to meet on Feb. 28.

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