PLANO Tuesday's Plano ISD board meeting started with a moment of silence and a prayer for the victims of the Connecticut elementary school shooting.
Trustees then agreed that keeping students safe is a priority, endorsing a proposal to add armed guards at district facilities.
Superintendent Richard Matkin said it's sad that he even has to propose armed security officers at every campus.
"Times have changed," he said. "It's time for a sensible and reasonable conversation about how you provide security at school."
Matkin delivered three proposals, each calling for armed guards at Plano schools.
- Proposal 1 would allocate two officers at each senior high school, and one officer at the district's 72 other facilities.
- Proposal 2 calls for one officer on every campus.
- Proposal 3 would post an armed guard at each elementary school, early childhood facility, and academy high school.
The plan to add guards is estimated to cost between $2.2 and $2.7 million a year.
"It's somewhere between a half a cent and one cent for every dollar spent in public education," Matkin explained.
"Maybe instead of using the word 'cost,' I'd like to use the word 'investment,'" said Trustee Mike Friedman.
How it will be paid for has not yet been resolved. There's talk of going into the fund balance or reserves. There's also discussion of a tax that residents would have to vote on.
"I wouldn't put a price tag on the safety of any child in any school district," said parent Dan Sheko, who supports the armed guard proposals.
All bids for the project are expected to be back for review in April.
Schools in the neighboring Allen ISD have already increased security on campuses. A front door buzzer system has been installed at each elementary school, and all doors will now be locked starting at 8 a.m.