Funding for Arkansas School Safety Center to Become Permanent Line in State Budget

Funding for Arkansas School Safety Center to Become Permanent Line in State Budget

After Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s Arkansas School Safety Commission made 30 recommendations, districts have been working to make the necessary adjustments. Therefore, school safety is becoming a permanent line in the state budget.

It was announced by Gov. Asa Hutchinson this week that funding for the Criminal Justice Institute’s Center for School Safety will be a permanent line in the state budget. He said the funding will be permanent because the Center is a long-term necessity.

After the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. last year, Hutchinson created an Arkansas School Safety Commission. The commission created 30 recommendations that they have worked on implementing.

Since the recommendations, the number of school resource officers has increased to 370 in the state’s 238 districts, and school districts have more options for armed protection. In addition, school counseling has become more direct and easily obtainable as Act 190, the School Counseling Improvement Act, which was passed by legislators this year, requires school districts to implement a comprehensive school counseling program and requires counselors to spend 90 percent of their time in direct counseling activities.

One of the districts, Green Forest School District, audited their school safety and security, and then added school resource officers with a car to each building. Furthermore, they numbered all hallways, installed special windows, mirrors to make it easier to see around corners added speed bumps and armed a few employees who completed active shooter training and learned first aid.

“It is a response to what we all know is our current society and that is that there is risk out there and that we have to give confidence to the parents that send their children to school that our school is safe,” he said. “They have to have that confidence.”

About the Author

Kaitlyn DeHaven is the Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.