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Schools Reject Money For Arming Staff, Scott Asks Lawmakers To Redirect It Towards Security

A Broward Sheriff's Office instructor, far right, oversees two of the armed guardian trainees during a firearms training at the BSO shooting range at Markham Park on July 30. (Image: WSVN 7 News)

Gov. Rick Scott is asking state lawmakers to redirect most of the money they allocated for arming and training school staff, since many districts didn’t want to use it.

BSO training potential armed security guards (WSVN 7 News)

The Legislature included $67 million in this year’s state budget for the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program, which would allow for trained armed guards at schools. Named for a victim of the shooting at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School, the provision was the most controversial aspect of a larger, $400 million package passed quickly in response to the Feb. 14 massacre.

About a third of Florida school districts opted into the program — including Broward County, which was awarded about $989,000.

The state Department of Education is still processing applications for the funding, but at this point, only about $9.4 million has been awarded overall. (The funding goes to county sheriff’s offices, not to the districts directly, since the law enforcement agencies are tasked with training the armed guards.)

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That leaves $58 million, which Scott says he wants redistributed among school districts for other school security costs.

[vc_btn title=”Continue reading” style=”outline” color=”black” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fhealth.wusf.usf.edu%2Fpost%2Fafter-schools-reject-money-arming-staff-scott-asks-lawmakers-redirect-it-towards-security%23stream%2F0||target:%20_blank|”][vc_message message_box_style=”outline” message_box_color=”black”]Health WUSF, excerpt posted on SouthFloridaReporter.com, Aug. 23, 2018

Photo Courtesy WSVN/7 News[/vc_message]