The Franklin City Schools’ decision to partner with the Warren County Educational Services Center to share a school resource officer is one that many other school districts in southwest Ohio have made.
Last week, the Franklin school board agreed to enter the partnership in which an SRO would split their time between the two WCESC learning centers and at Franklin High School and Junior High during the school year.
Each school entity would each pay 37.5 percent of the costs and the city of Franklin would cover the remaining 25 percent of the costs as that officer would patrol city streets during the summer months.
However, Franklin school officials said they felt that district should have its own SRO but are reviewing its finances to see if there are any non-staff cuts can be made to its budget. That amount is estimated at $100,000 if the board opts to have its own SRO for the entire district that would also include the five elementary schools in the city. The school board is expected to decide if it will stay with the current partnership plan or opt to have its own full-time SRO at its March 26 meeting.
Franklin school administrators provided information on what other districts do for school resource officers and what programs they provide their districts.
Of the 32 school districts surveyed in Butler, Warren, Hamilton and Clermont counties, only four did not have a school resource officer. Most of the costs were shared with the community furnishing the SRO or while others were totally paid by the school district or the community.
Costs varied depending on how many officers a district has and how much, if any, was shared with others. For example, one district paid 15 percent of a salary, for $10,000. Other splits included 80 percent paid by the district, 50 percent paid by the district and other splits.
“It was an eye-opener for me,” Sander said. “I did not know that SROs were so prevalent in school districts.”