Dean urges MNPS to reallocate $5.5M from capital funds to security improvements

Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 4:19pm

In the aftermath of last month’s horrific elementary school shooting in Connecticut, Mayor Karl Dean is urging local education officials to start spending some $5.5 million toward classroom safety immediately.

Metro Nashville Public Schools has already started tackling ongoing plans to revamp several security aspects at the district’s 144 schools, but Dean is asking for more.

“Our schools have a very good safety history, but given recent national events, it is clear we need to take additional measures to assure the families of children in our public schools that Nashville is taking the necessary steps to ensure their safety when entrusted to our care,” said Dean in a letter to Jesse Register, MNPS director of schools Thursday.

MNPS officials has settled on shifting about $1.25 million in capital improvement funds this year to focus on improving interior and exterior locking systems, ensuring all employees wear ID badges and focusing on emergency exit pathways.

The Metro Council, which appropriates dollars to the school district, gave MNPS $97 million for school facility improvements this school year, including $9 million for miscellaneous maintenance projects and $3 million in contingency funds.

Dean’s letter assured the district that if the school board can shift as much as $5.5 million of that into starting on a wishlist of safety projects immediately, he would make sure to replace those dollars in the district’s capital spending plan for next school year.

“The mayor has always been very supportive of the schools and obviously he’s very supportive of our plans to even further enhance our security,” said Olivia Brown, MNPS spokeswoman. “This is a step toward that.”

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Dean letter to Register.pdf484.3 KB

8 Comments on this post:

By: pswindle on 1/10/13 at 7:16

The state needs to give back the 3+ million that the state charged Metro for not having Heart Hearts. It is more clear now to find out that the State Education Head's ex-wife is head of the Charter Schools Organization. She pushes and pushes Charter Schools and that means more money in her pocket. Washington DC fired this ex-wife, they did not want anything to do with her ideas, good for them. So she comes to TN and through her -ex-husband tried to push it thorugh this weak Haslam Administartion.

By: ancienthighway on 1/10/13 at 8:42

Perhaps Dean should reallocate some of his general funds or even that new money being requested to meet this unbudgeted request. He could even make a plea to the state for the 3.4m be put back into MNPS's account.

By: rickmuz on 1/11/13 at 8:11

They need to either completely revamp the "School Security" department at MNPS by sending them to the academy and making them police officers with a commission and actual AUTHORITY thereby posting School police at our schools (by combining them with the SRO of MNPD); or they need to do away with this division that has no authority and does nothing but pull on door handles and respond to alarms after hours (along with REAL police).

By: Ellie G on 1/11/13 at 10:58

If you ask the students I think you'll find they want slightly more mundane things i.e. soap and toilet paper.

if you want to really dream big, consider doors on the bathroom stalls.

By: Ask01 on 1/12/13 at 8:30

Perhaps Mayor Dean could divert some of the money for his corporate welfare projects or nice to have, but not truly necessary 'beautification' projects.

After all he claimed, did he not, schools were a priority when he slipped the tax increase to the voters? Of course, it seems whatever is popular at the moment with whichever group he addresses is a 'priority' with Mayro Dean.

I suppose he, the Metro Council, and Metro School Board could crawl to Capitol Hill in sackcloth and ashes and beg for the money the state took away.

Nah, education obviously isn't THAT much of a priority.

By: Balo on 1/12/13 at 10:02

Now more than ever the state should release the money to Davidson County. Again, there is no justification for the state to hold the money.

MNPS spokeswomen is quoted that the mayor is very supportive of the school system. I must have missed that support reading about his obsession for the Charter school movement.

By: pswindle on 1/12/13 at 11:20

The state head of Education is holding the money to prove a point that he is more powerful than Dean. His ex-wife is head of the Charter Schools. He wanted her to get her foot in the door so they could take over Metro where the big money is. They would not have stopped with Great Hearts. Can you just imagine how much money from Metro would go the Charter Schools? They would rape the Metro schools until they would have to close their doors. This is what the GOP wants, and that is to educate whomever they want and not the masses. Or the students that are left behind with nothing but the crumbs.

By: Jughead on 1/15/13 at 11:57

I hate all gov't. Scumball leeches sucking the life out of the middle class.