GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- The allocation of extra funds in Marshall County's school resource officer budget raises some questions among officials involved in the funding.
Last year was the first year Marshall County was able to put a School Resource Officer in each of the county's schools. Commission Chairman James Hutcheson says recently the Commission learned there was money left over in that budget, stemming from a position that was not filled. "This year it looks like we're going to have a small surplus left, roughly 15 thousand dollars in that school resource officer line, which the end of September, next month, it will roll over into the general fund," Hutcheson says. At the last meeting the Commission voted to put that money toward the county's jail.
Three entities fund school resource officers in Marshall County - the county itself, the Legislature, and the school board. Superintendent Tim Nabors says he would have liked to see those funds used for something safety-related in the schools, or for emergency training for teachers.
Hutcheson says each entity will get that money back in next year's budget. "Once this budget year is over with, we'll make sure it's calculated, and any money that was in that line that wasn't spent for School Resource Officers will be reimbursed to where it came from," Hutcheson says.
State Senator Clay Scofield says he would have like to see that money go to the schools as well, but says ultimately, since that money will be reimbursed, it benefits the students regardless. "School resource officers are very important to us here in Marshall County and we want to make sure we continue to fund that," Senator Scofield says.
Hutcheson says because of the collaboration between all three groups, each county school will have an officer present again this year, which is a feat he says is all three entities involved are proud of.
Hutcheson says they will provide documentation showing the calculation of the surplus to the school board and the Legislature. He says if those entities do not want to be reimbursed, officials can reduce the amount of that yearly contribution to the school resource officer budget by the amount of that entity's share of the extra funds, which will be determined next month.