Funds Redirected From SROs To Mental Health Resources By Alexandria City Council
Despite objections from a majority of its school board, the Alexandria, Virginia, City Council voted Tuesday night to spend funds originally meant to pay school resource officers (SROs) to hire more mental health professionals. The council decided in May to eliminate the $789,909 from the 2022 budget that had been used to fund the SRO program. According to wtop.com, "In the Tuesday council meeting, members approved with a 5-1 vote, redirecting those funds to hire more mental health therapists, a human services specialist, a mentoring partnership coordinator and an additional public health nurse. The vote came despite a last-minute appeal by school board member Cindy Anderson, who told the city council that school resource officers ensure safety in the schools and the abrupt change would be disruptive for school staff following the difficult year of the COVID-19 pandemic." As per wtop.com, "Council member Amy Jackson provided the lone vote against redirecting the money to mental health programs, pointing out that each Alexandria school currently has staff providing mental health support including social workers, school psychologists and school nurses. “The process was bad … I also agree that the school board, as elected officials, we’re undermined in this process … that’s bullying,” Jackson said."