COEUR d'ALENE - The Coeur d'Alene School District is planning to ask voters to approve approximately $1 million more on its next levy, so enhanced safety measures can be implemented across schools in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut.
The additional $1 million would come on the heels of the $12.9 million supplemental levy voters will be asked to vote upon in March, and, if approved, pay for one-time capital designs to make the schools safer.
"It's a movement toward better safety, not perfect safety," said Hazel Bauman, Coeur d'Alene superintendent. "It isn't perfect, but it's a step in the right direction."
The capital improvements could include entry system and technology upgrades, proximity controlled facility access, bullet-proof glass on some windows, fencing, stricter visitor controls and metal detectors and video surveillance.
The school district is also eyeing adding three new school resource officers to its fleet, bringing the total number to eight. The additional officers wouldn't be funded through the additional levy request, rather the school district would absorb the costs. One officer has already been added to Canfield Middle School, but the additional $1 million could pay for gun safes inside the schools only officers can access, along with other equipment for school resource officers.
While the school district sent a letter home to parents this week outlining the plan, the school board will hold a special meeting by Jan. 24 to finalize the language on the levy ballot.
On March 12, it plans to seek a $12.9 million supplemental maintenance and operations levy to replace an expiring two-year supplemental levy voters approved in 2011. The levy could be structured that voters will be asked to vote on replacing that levy with the same amount, followed by another vote on the additional approximately $1 million for safety measures.
Details on the ballot language would have to be worked out before Jan. 25, when it's due, which is why the board must meet by Jan. 24.