Police, security guards, a cop car — readin’, writin’ and ’rithmatic it ain’t.
School security measures proposed in the wake of the Newtown school shooting added about half a million to the school budget request Superintendent Deborah Low unveiled Monday night.
The school and town officials working on the School Security Task Force organized in the wake of the shooting did well to come up with some do-able recommendations that could be acted on quickly — a few, such as security guards at school doors, are already in place.
Others are being researched, such as card-swipe “access control systems” for employees and “visitor management systems (electronic background database scans of school visitors),” in the words of the statement released by school officials last week.
When the School Security Task Force was hastily organized, it had the look of that classic bureaucratic response: Form a committee!
Weeks later, a few measures are already on the ground, and some more difficult ones are being researched. The task force is doing more than creating the appearance of a response, which reflects well on Ridgefield’s town and school officials. And Ms. Low deserves credit for including the costs for the known additional security measures in her 2013-14 budget request.
Police, a police car, security guards, and a mental health professional added about half a million dollars to the $84-million education budget, and pushed the much-discussed “percentage increase” up to 3.24%. Without the security costs, the school increase proposed by Ms. Low could have been in the more comfortably discussed “two-plus” range.
A lot of those expenses could, arguably, go in the police budget, or somewhere else. But Ms. Low didn’t argue, she simply included the costs.
Still, it is hard to consider such things without a creeping sense that no amount of money spent, no number of school security measures researched by diligent members of a task force, will create the safe world in which parents long to raise their children.