He said the district is working with law enforcement to investigate the possibility of giving police the ability to access school camera systems, which he said he thinks could be accomplished easily.
Tony Hall, board member, said he likes the initiatives he’s seeing with the schools, but wants to see more police presence inside the buildings.
“I really appreciate what Travis has done and what you’re looking at,” Hall said. “No matter what you do with all these scenarios and with all the cameras, to me, it goes back to how you stop a bad guy with a bullet is with a good guy with a bullet.”
Melin said the district is working with police in local municipalities within the district to see about getting more officers in the schools. He said some schools don’t have officers in them five days a week, but the district also needs to examine funding considerations to get officers.
Greg Zoeller, state attorney general, issued a release earlier this month supporting legislation to provide grant funding for school-resource officers to districts that need them. But Melin said if that funding isn’t recurring, the board needs to consider whether they can afford to keep those officers on the payroll.
“We don’t want to commit to hiring people and then from year to year, be sort of held hostage in that way,” Melin said. “[Charlestown] mayor [Bob Hall] and I talked about this fact that if we went 50/50, if we could make that happen.”
The board also heard a presentation from Chief Financial Officer Thomas Dykiel about the district budget’s state.
Dykiel said property tax caps hit the district by about $800,000 less than expected, but still cost the district about $1.8 million. However, an ending cash balance in the general fund of about $1.45 million and $1.6 million in the rainy-day fund are positive notes to close out 2012.
However, he said the next state enrollment count in February could hurt the district if they’ve lost students or had students graduate before the end of the school year. He said he’s also unsure of whether special-education students — who get more per capita funding in districts — will be counted.