Superintendents have been talking to lawmakers about this and it was also one of the recommendations from the governor’s School Safety Commission.
School districts would be allowed to hire a school resource officer instead of having to partner with a local police or sheriff’s office.
The bill’s sponsors say this will help address access and funding issues for smaller districts and law enforcement agencies.
They say about a quarter of the state’s districts don’t have a department close by.
“This gives an authority for them to act in security. It enables smaller districts in rural areas to have their own police department because the police or the sheriff’s office cannot financially take care of it,” says St. Rep. Keith Slape, (R-Compton).
One lawmaker wondered why the bill was necessary, concerned the hired officers could arrest students for simple offenses.
But it passed.
The measure has one more stop on the House floor before going to the governor.