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The Madison Record

MCS launches Safety and Security Fund to add SROs

MADISON – Madison City Schools leaders have launched a fundraising effort to place more Special Resource Officers or SROs on Madison campuses.

MCS Superintendent Robby Parker and Madison Board of Education President Ranae Bartlett announced the Safety and Security Fund effort at a special meeting on April 6.

Outside contributions to the fund will pay for more SROs and mental health counselors in Madison City Schools. Those needs will cost $755,500, which the school system does not have without sacrificing teaching units, Parker said.

This website for the crowd-funding resource, leanstreamrp.com/pages/district/6/madison-city-public-schools, is now available. Contributions are tax-deductible and apply exclusively toward the $755,500 cost for additional SROs and counselors.

“The need is now,” Parker said. The school district cannot wait until 2019 when the Alabama State Legislature meets again, receiving additional revenue from a donor or “a pot of money to magically appear. The volunteer Safety and Security Fund provides a means for the community and companies who have asked for ways they can help our schools.”

“After the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., many from the community began asking me and board members what they can do to help make our schools safer. The board held an extensive School Safety, Security and Communications work session on March 27,” Parker said. Participants concluded that more SROs and mental health counselors are top priorities.

The work session included Parker, Madison Police Chief David Jernigan, Madison Fire Chief David Bailey, school counselors, behavioral specialists, principals, a student and a counseling expert from the Enrichment Center.

“Mr. Parker wants to add six SROs to the current SRO pool of eight to have a full-time SRO in every school, with two in each high school,” MCS Public Relations Manager John Peck said. “Madison City Schools fully funds all of the SROs assigned to the school district by the police department. The additional counselors and mental health services will ‘fill the gap’ from growing enrollment and be a preventive step to help avert school violence.”

The Safety and Security Fund website has an interactive feature to allow for tax-deductible donations. Parker has assured transparency and that 100 percent of contributions will benefit school safety and security.

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