In Wake Of Newtown Shootings, CDA Schools Want $1 Million For Safety Upgrades: Will Cost Average Homeowner $17.26
by Kelsey Watts, KHQ Local News Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho –
Coeur D'Alene voters have some decisions to make on the March ballot.
two-year school levy of $12.9 million is up for renewal – as is an additional $1
million dollar levy for school safety improvements in the wake of the tragedy in
"You turn your
thoughts inward and you say, ‘Oh God, please don't let it happen here,'"
Superintendent Hazel Bauman told KHQ.
After the December
shootings in Newtown, the district decided it's time to make a change. Over winter break, representatives met with
police officials to determine what specifically could be improved. As a result, they want to have more
restricted access at entrances, doors that lock from the inside, security
cameras, bullet-proof glass, fencing, and more school resource officers; changes
that would be made in each of the district's 17 schools.
"There's a price tag
with all the changes that would need to be made, and while we could chip away at
that over the next 5 or 10 years, the danger and sense of security for our
students, staff and families is now," Bauman said.
She adds, a million
dollars won't be the ‘end all' of safety costs, but it's a good place to
Lori Wallin, a PTA
President and mother of a third grader, agrees.
"We can't offer
children a 100% guarantee of safety, but I think we do an extraordinary job of
doing the best we can," Wallin said, calling the purposeful choices about which
safety upgrades to make "effective and thoughtful."
The extra $1 million
levy for safety improvements would cost an average of $17.26 for the owner of a
home valued at $200,000. It would be a
one-time payment, and the extra money will be on the ballot as a separate item
from the supplemental $12.9 million dollar levy, so voters have the choice of
passing one or both.
But not everyone is in
"Some people think
because you can't get to perfect, therefore it's not a good use of money to
spend it on safety and security measures," Bauman added.
Still, she expects it
will pass come March.
The amount and
language of the levy needs to be delivered to the county clerk by January
25th, but there will be ongoing community discussions about the
issue. For more information, check the
district's website at http://www.cdaschools.org/
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