With the state imposed deadline just hours away, the Erie School District has a new budget. Before today’s vote, the debate over the $1 million spent on school policing was renewed.
The school board approved a new budget for 2020-2021 school year.
Some Erie residents have been urging the district to invest more money in things like counselors and less in policing. They did not get their wishfor now.
School board member Tyler Titus motioned to approve the budget saying the school board will discuss whether money spent on district police will be reallocated in the future.
“I do not want to move the money without having a solid plan on how we’re going to move this money, so I will vote for the budget to go forward with the understanding that this does not mean we do not bring in the police back into the school that we can have that discussion in a more thorough thoughtful way,” said Tyler Titus, school board member.
A motion to remove funding for district police was rejected by the school board. Titus adding the board should not rush to put money into areas that do not make sense for the district. During Tuesday’s Zoom meeting, several residents said the money could be spent on students’ mental health, investing in more counselors.
“The school budget currently has one million dollars allocated with maintained police surveillance as I said as an educator myself I’m concerned for the health and safety of our youth and would like to see that money reallocated to student health and development.” said Spencer Meyers, an Erie resident.
“Using resources for SRO’s is a waste of our tax payers’ money and should be used to hire more counselors, school psychologists and to do a better job at recruiting teachers of color.” said Kate Koehle, an Erie resident.
The $210 million spending plan contains no tax increase. By state law, June 30 is the deadline to pass a new budget.
Though the budget was approved the school board has plans to make adjustments after hearing more from the community about where they feel money should be spent to better local public schools.