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Nevada School District Cuts School Resource Officer Program To Weather Coronavirus Budget Cuts

Many districts, including Lyon County in Nevada, are grappling with how to cut costs in the face of a drop in revenue to fund schools.

As school districts across the country face budget cuts due to the coronavirus pandemic, a Nevada school district will likely discontinue its school resource officer program for the 2020-21 school year, according to the Reno Gazette Journal.

Lyon County School District, the fourth largest school district in the state serving 18 schools outside of Carson City, is looking at ways to make 5 percent cuts to balance its budget, which has been hurt by the state’s budget shortfalls due to the COVID-19 crisis.

In April, the Nevada education department told districts that unspent grants, including for security upgrades, must be returned to the state to offset budget issues. This means that districts like Lyon must return grants that funded their officer programs as well as school security improvements or career programs.

Officials will save about $100,000 by cutting the school resource officer program, which is paid for through the grant funding and contributions from the district and the county itself. Since 2017, three officers were assigned to schools across the county.

The Gazette Journal also reported that Lyon will go ahead with planned pay and benefit increases to employees. Harman Bains, the district’s director of business services, declined interview requests from local media.

Lyon County Schools are surely not the only district being forced to make tough decisions about security budgets and other district needs. In New York City, officials pushed back a vote on a $19 billion capital spending plan that included $200 million allocated for school security systems. According to Chalkbeat, student advocates criticized the plan and said the money should go toward social workers rather than surveillance systems and metal detector upgrades.

And in Utah, lawmakers have already warned that $30 million in state funding for school security improvements could be cut from the budget due to drops in tax revenue.

About the Author

Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.

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