School district budget puts SROs in every school

No tax increase to provide new positions

By Greg Oliver
Courtesy The Journal

PICKENS — The Pickens County School Board has approved a nearly $123 million general fund budget that features expansion of the school resource officer program to ensure full-time SROs in every school without a tax increase.

School district superintendent Danny Merck said the district will spend $420,440 for new full-time resource officers in every school, while $1.3 million is for both recurring and new spending on SROs.

“The budget provides for a new security monitor position ($20,000), which will continuously monitor our schools’ security cameras and online activity to identify threats to school security before they result in tragedy,” Merck said. “The budget will also provide funds for increased mental health services ($65,000) for students in partnership with Anderson-Oconee-Pickens Mental Health Center.”

After first reading of the budget passed in April, school district spokesman John Eby said the district has purchased social media monitoring software that will flag keywords for potential threats, suicide or cyber-bullying. Those are areas the security monitor will be responsible for keeping an eye on and reporting to administration when appropriate.

Merck said the budget also includes one step increase for

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