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to The Sarasota News Leader in July 2013. The district already had partnerships with the Police Departments in North Port and Venice to provide School Resource Officers (SROs) in those municipalities, but the School Board had to work with the Sarasota Police Department (SPD) to arrange for SROs in Sarasota schools. The split of the SPD expense was 63 percent for the district, 37 percent for the Sarasota Police Department. That ratio remains intact for the 2014-15 school year, according to one of White's July 22 slides. However, the cost of the 3.5 equivalent SROs in the City of Sarasota has increased by 11 percent for next year to $346,670. If the district had maintained one SRO at Riverview, the increase in its SRO agreement with the Sheriff's Office would have risen by 6.1 percent, White explained. However, because the district is adding an SRO at Riverview — the system's largest school, with 2,560 students during the 2013-14 school year — the cost is going up 14.2 percent, she noted, to $599,088. The expense for the Venice SROs is rising 2.2 percent, to $128,900; the North Port expense is going up 4.3 percent, to $273,326. The Sheriff's Office provides 12 deputies for the program, while the Venice Police Department supplies two SROs and the North Port Police Department provides four. The district's 2014-15 Safe School funding allocation from the state will be 11.5 percent lower than the 2013-14 level, White contin- ued. "So there has been additional pressure put on the [district's] general fund." Although Chief Deputy Financial Officer Al Weidner built an increase into the tentative budget for the 2015 fiscal year, White said, the expense of the SRO program "is exceed- ing even what he anticipated." That means an extra $122,000 will be coming out of the gen- eral fund to pay for it, she added. New and rebuilt schools in Sarasota County feature single points of entry for the public, while some older schools still have less restrictive access. Images courtesy Sarasota County Schools Sarasota News Leader July 25, 2014 Page 52

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