Shelby Co. Schools budget proposal includes millions for campus security

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - - A multi-million dollar plan to keep your children safe is in the works. It's part of the Shelby County School Board's budget proposal for next school year.

The current draft includes $2 million for 30 more armed school resource officers, and $3.6 million for new security cameras. It's all part of the board's attempt to stop a school shooting, like the one that happened in Parkland, Florida, from happening here.

"You don't want to drop your child off and then get a phone call later on that there's been some kind of tragedy or some event at the school," Board member Chris Caldwell says.

Under the plan, some of the new officers would be assigned to elementary schools as needed, because currently, only middle and high schools have an SRO all the time.

"The non-negotiable is safety for your children," Caldwell says.

In addition to officers and cameras, the school board is also looking to add 35 new guidance counselors and ten behavioral specialist.

Keith Williams is executive director of the Memphis Shelby County Education Association. He says those additions would be key, particularly at the elementary and middle school levels.

"If you catch things that are social ills, that are conditions that children have early you can solve a problem," Williams says.

He's also glad arming teachers isn't included in the budget proposal.

"Teachers do more than enough and the thought of having a weapon in a classroom is frightening to me," Williams says.

The budget is expected to go before the county commission in May and be finalized by July.

The school board is hoping to partially fund some of these measures by securing a chunk of school safety funding Governor Haslam announced earlier this year.