The Fayette County School Board approved a $13 million school safety program this summer. Supported through a new 5 cent property tax, it calls for more security guards, more mental health counselors and more metal detectors. A petition drive to put the new tax on the ballot this fall failed.
Fayette Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk says one of the first safety plan initiatives will focus on additional hiring of staff. “We’ll be looking to work with our schools and then get those postings for mental health professionals posted by no later than the first week after fall break. With law enforcement we’re looking to get those positions posted and again that’s one for every elementary and middle school. We’re looking to move that forward by the end of the month,” said Caulk.
Past Kentucky and Lexington Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Bill Lear said it’s not the first time the business community stood with the school system, nor will it be the last. He says it’s not a time to celebrate the failed petition drive. “This is no time for gloating. This is a time for us now, to dedicate ourselves to put this program in place as quickly and as cost effectively as possible. That’s what the business community signed up for. I know that’s what the board and our superintendent stand for,” noted Lear.
The school board is scheduled to hold a planning meeting Monday afternoon at which time more details about the timeline for safety measures will be released.