On Tuesday the Pinellas County School Board voted 6-1 to approve a motion opposing arming school personnel.
According to the new law, it’s up to the counties whether they want to participate in the guardian program that would allow them to train and arm school staff other than those who are just teachers.
Pinellas County Superintendent Michael Grego said he spoke to Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and they decided that arming anyone who is not a law-enforcement officer is off the table.
What they will do is increase the number of school resource officer's so they have one in each school. Right now, there are SRO’s in Pinellas County middle and high schools, but they will need between 70 and 80 additional officers to cover the district’s elementary schools.
To do that the state gave Pinellas County $2.9 million, but the superintendent estimates they would need at least $6 million more.
Board members say they will be meeting in the coming weeks to come up with a plan, but if the state budget is approved as is, cuts to education programs are in order.
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