The Moore County School Board approved the expansion of law enforcement officers in all schools at the Oct. 3 work session.
Each school will have a full-time law enforcement officer on campus. These officers are referred to as school resource officers (SRO) by school officials.
The board will move $562,946.24 Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER) from child nutrition cash reserves to begin the SRO expansion and will partner with Moore County Commissioners.
The Sept. 13 end-of-year report on state and USDA funds showed an increase in cash reserves at $4,201,201.96.
The state requires maintaining a balance to operate two months of cash reserves, which is $2.3 million.
The monthly child nutrition expense is approximately $700,000.
School board member Robert Levy made a motion for an amendment to use the $562,946.24 on educational remediation instead of the SRO expansion. He requested they request the expansion funds from the county. He was the only person who voted for the amendment.
Vice Chair Elizabeth Carter said they need to consider SROs in the school as support to prevent learning loss.
“They follow up with guidance counselors,” Carter said about law enforcement officers working with students.
The $562,946.24 can be used to fund up to nine police officer positions for one year or can purchase equipment.
Read about the collaborative work session between the education board and county commissioners on increasing law enforcement officers on campuses here.
During the budget work session, Superintendent Dr. Tim Locklair said there was an increase of $10 million in state funds for salaries and benefits.
The revised budget includes lowering the class sizes in grades four and five at a cost of $1.7 million.
The board will vote on the budget Oct. 11 at its agenda meeting.
Dr. Seth Powers, executive officer for academics and student support services and LaShunda Maynor, interim director for student support services presented a request for Elise Middle School eighth grade students travel to Washington, D.C.
The proposed educational trip on American history is for March 22-24, 2023.
The board will vote on the proposed trip Oct. 11 at its agenda meeting.
Dr. Mike Metcalf, executive officer for academics and student support services and Kate Faw, director for planning, accountability, & research presented a review on the schools’ 2021-2022 key outcomes.
Due to the pandemic, the state granted a waiver to the county’s accountability in proficiency, growth rates, and participation.
The county exceeded state levels in all tests except eight grade math. The county was .8 percentage points lower than the state.
The graduation rate surpassed the state rate by 5.9 percentage points.
The dropout rate increased by .4 percentage points.
The county outperformed state measures in grade level performance and college and career readiness.
There was a 2-percentage point increase over the pre-pandemic year for students in 10th grade reading at or above grade level.
Levy suggested they hire a consultant who has turned around F-rated schools. There is a dual-language hurdle in Robbins, and there is a socioeconomic hurdle in Aberdeen.
Locklair said they were looking at consultants and researching.
The ranking of Moore County Schools may be viewed here.
~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Journalist Stephanie M. Sellers.