Le Mars Community School board will continue SRO funding

Friday, September 23, 2022

LE MARS — The Le Mars Community School District Board of Education members took action on funding for the shared school resource officer in the district.

In the spring of 2022, House File 2080 was signed into law. This law allows the Le Mars Community School District to share school resource officer (SRO) operational functions with the Le Mars Police Department as long as the SRO is assigned to the school district for at least 20 percent of the school year.

“This past year legislature expanded what you can operational share with other districts as well as with other governmental entities and one of those is the school resource officer, which we have,” Superintendent Dr. Steve Webner said.

The school district in the past few years has been paying about $7,500 a year. Due to increasing expenses, that is going to go up to about $10,000 to $12,000, and will continue to increase, according to Webner. Currently, LCSD pays the Le Mars Police Department for a portion of the SRO required funds out of the district’s at-risk funding.

Webner said the school district is paying its share of the $7,500, but a huge bulk of this is coming from private donors who wish to remain anonymous.

“With this law in place, I recommend that we do operational sharing with the Le Mars Police Department,” Webner said. “This will free up that $10,000 to $12,000 and more than that down the road that comes out of our at-risk dollars. The state will then give us the equivalent of three students worth of funding, which will be approximately $7,500 or more next year per student.”

With state funding coming in for the program at the equivalent of three students, that equates to more than $22,500 for fiscal year 2024.

“That way we can take those at-risk dollars we have been using and put them in other student programming where it is needed,” Webner said.

The board gave its unanimous approval to the Operational Sharing of School Resource Officer with the City of Le Mars Police Department’s school resource officer position for the 2023-2024 school year.

Webner said in October, the Iowa Department of Education will be notified of desire for operational sharing with the Le Mars Police Department.

The first year the district will receive the funding is in the 2023-2024 school year. SRO operational sharing supplemental weighting dollars will be received by the district in the 2023-2024 school year.

“Just as now, these dollars will be sent to the Le Mars Police Department to pay for the district’s share of this position,” Webner said.

The board also went into closed session for discussion of two items: to discuss the purchase or sale of particular real estate as authorized by Iowa Code Chapter 21.5.(1); and to discuss the 2022-23 Emergency Operation plan as authorized under section 21.5(1)(a) required by Iowa Code 280.30.

Following the closed session, the board returned to open session to approve the 2022-23 Emergency Operation Plan.

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