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.”
|Dean letter to Register.pdf ||484.3 KB|