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Parents, teachers worried about unused school security funds

Posted at 10:58 PM, Aug 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-22 22:58:07-04

The head of Lee County's teacher union is hoping lawmakers will allow the district to use unused monies from the Guardian program for extra school security.

The Guardian Program was passed earlier this year as part of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Act.  It allows school teachers to be armed in the classroom. 

Hendry County is the only county in Southwest Florida to partake in the program.  The state allocated $67 million for the program, but there is $58 million left over.  Governor Rick Scott wants to allocate those funds to districts throughout the state so they can add more school resource officers.

"It's 60 million dollars, you have to use it for something," said parent Joelie Wilson.

The Lee County Teacher's Union said it could use that money for extra school security.  But incoming House Speaker Rep. Jose Oliva (R-MIami) and Senate President Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton) both want to the money to stay with the Guardian program.

"I see it as a wasted opportunity, to allow some local control, to allow the districts to dow what they need to do at the district level, not every district is the same," said President of the Lee Teacher's Union Kevin Daly.

Neither Oliva and Galvano returned Fox-4's calls or emails.

A spokesperson for the Governor's Office says the Legislative Budget Committee will meet next month to decide how the money will be used.