Nashville Mayor Wants School Funds Shifted To Security Upgrades - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Nashville Mayor Wants School Funds Shifted To Security Upgrades

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - While many districts are asking county leaders for more money to upgrade security, the Metro Nashville Schools has learned it will have to pay for the improvements from its own bank account.

In a letter, Mayor Karl Dean has urged school leaders to shift money already earmarked for other projects to complete the security upgrades.

"Go ahead and do these things. Please do them, do them as fast as you can," Mayor Dean said about his message to the Metro School Board. "Use money that's already been appropriated for other projects and then we'll make up that money later when we can do another budget."

Metro has identified four high priority projects.

"We would not have been able to phase these security protocols in for eight to ten years," Tony Majors, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services said.

The plan includes making sure all schools have technology that allows staff to screen visitors before allowing them into the building. The district wants to change the locks on classroom doors that will allow teachers to lock them from both the inside and outside. School leaders will also install or upgrade the district's closed circuit security camera system. 

Student Services Director Tony Majors says, "The benefit of moving to a digital system is that allows us to link to ( the Office of Emergency Management), to the police department so they will actually have access to our system in the event of an emergency. That greatly decreases response time (and) lag time."

It will cost the Metro Schools nearly $5.5 million, which will come out of the building and maintenance budget.  School leaders don't expect it will delay projects that will temporarily lose funding to accommodate the new requests.

Mayor Dean said any delays will be taken into account, when Metro Schools presents its budget proposal to the city this spring.

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