KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Democratic State Rep. Mark Sharp said he plans on introducing a bill next legislative session that would hopefully make it easier for school districts to have a school resource officer (SRO) in “every public school building.”
“We would provide 70% of the funding for school resource officers and or any kind of school safety measures and leave the school district to cover the rest of it, which would be the 30%,” Sharp said Friday.
Sharp would like to see SROs in elementary schools in the future, even though they’re often not in them right now.
“I don’t because this would not be a mandate,” Sharp said when asked if this would put school districts in a bind because the state would only pay 70% of the proposal.
“This would just be an offer to those districts who want to opt in to take advantage of this program. It’s really just to sweeten the deal for our school districts to try to make it a little safer for our kiddos.”
Republican State Rep. Chris Brown said the cost of this project will be the problem.
“What’s the one reason why they wouldn’t participate in it? It’s a financial reason,” Brown said of school districts Friday. “You know they just don’t feel like they can bear that burden going forward.
“When you’re talking about trying to put a school resource officer in literally every school, you’re talking about elementary, middle, and high school that a district may have… Unfortunately…That’s a financial hurdle that some school districts just aren’t going to be able to do or would find it exceedingly difficult to do.”
Local school districts aren’t commenting on the proposal right now.