Va. lawmakers offer $1.7 million for school resource officers

Posted at 12:30 AM, Feb 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-04 00:30:15-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- In a rare Sunday gathering, both the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance Committee met to present their budget amendments to the public.

Major highlights include a one percent raise for most state workers.

But a big question mark going into the presentation was how much the respective committees were going to allocate for school safety.

In the House, over $30 million is being allocated over 5 years. That includes $1.7 million for school resource officers.

For the next five years, $6 million in competitive grants will be awarded for schools looking for security improvements. Each district would be required to make a 25 percent match.

The Senate Finance Committee also addressed the need for school safety however they did not allocate as much funds as the House.

"We are recommending $1 million for incentive grants," State Senator Ryan McDougle, told the committee.

Some in the education committee expressed concern that number is not enough to make substantial reforms.

" It's not nearly enough," Kim Grey, a Richmond school board member,"

"We have 132 school districts in the Commonwealth that wouldn't even be a drop in the bucket," Grey added.

When CBS 6 asked Senator McDougle about the number he said they focused on "targeted" reforms.

Lawmakers said that funds will most likely increase as the respective budgets reach the floor.