At Governor Scott’s direction, the Florida Department of Education submitted a proposal today to the Florida Legislature to redirect $58 million of unused funding from the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program to school districts for additional school security. The Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program is 100 percent voluntary for school districts. Of the $67 million appropriated for this program, $9 million was utilized by local law enforcement to establish guardian programs with agreements from local school districts. The redirection of the remaining $58 million to school districts will now go before the Legislative Budget Commission for approval.
Governor Scott said, “Immediately following the tragedy in Parkland this year, we took emergency action to make our schools safer. While I am proud of the major legislation we passed this spring, I was clear that we would need to continue to work together to keep our students safe. That’s why I outlined this plan to Legislative leadership in March, and today am living up to my commitment to urge them to redirect unused money from the voluntary guardian program back into our schools for more security. I am confident that the Legislature will take the appropriate actions to ensure that this funding can be used this school year. Every student and parent in Florida deserves to know that our schools are safe and our kids are protected.”
The $58 million will be redirected to school districts for the specific purpose of enhancing school safety. Under the Department of Education’s proposal, once redirected, the $58 million will be disbursed to Florida school districts based on their student population. This funding can then be used to partner with local law enforcement to hire additional school officers. This year, school districts were provided $162 million specifically for school safety. Under Governor Scott’s leadership, per-pupil funding in Florida is at an all time high, and since 2011, Florida schools have seen an increase of $4.5 billion in funding. To view video of the Governor signing the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, click HERE.