Simpsonville, a South Carolina town, has added police to their schools at no added costs to taxpayers with satellite police offices and an officer at no added cost to taxpayers. Other towns appear to engaging in this as well with no added cost to taxpayers, and Newtown should look at this as well.
It would not be unusual for Board of Finance school budget deliberations to extend to three hours or more. But despite the intention to do so on March 6, finance officials never cracked open the school budget book.
Instead, they heard public comment and spent the rest of their special meeting originally scheduled to take up the district budget proposal, trying to get a better understanding about the scope and cost of future school security measures.
They say all politics are local. And nothing gets more political and more local than deciding how to divide up a community’s property taxes. Newtown’s budgetmakers are used to doing their work with taxpayers inviting themselves into their meeting rooms to look over their shoulders at line items, to listen to department heads justify expenses, and ultimately to offer their own opinions at hearings, in letters to the editor, in social media, and eventually in the voting booth.
Along with a presentation on the Board of Education’s proposed 2013-14 budget, the Board of Finance also heard from the Police Commission and a representative of a Security Committee for the first time on measures that could be taken regarding school security at its special meeting on Tuesday, February 26.