Governor Rick Scott is calling for unused funds from the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program to be redistributed to be used in other ways. The program in the comprehensive Parkland school safety bill that was signed into law in March, and it educates and arms security guards and non-educator faculty members. It was a fast measure passed in order to strengthen school security after the deadly Marjury Stoneman Douglas school shooting.
Governor Scott signed the bill, but he did so with the understanding that residual money could then be used by other districts that cooperated with law enforcement to continually staff officers at every school.
In a letter sent to the Joint Legislative Budget Commission, Governor Scott mentions a Department of Education survey that lists $9 million of the $67 appropriation for the program that is used in a few school districts that chose to use it.
Scott explains that “This means that $58 million will be stuck in Tallahassee, unable to be used for any purpose.”
He also said that “I made it clear that any unused funding from the voluntary guardian program should be redirected to hire additional safe-school officers this school year.”
Finally, Governor Scott detailed that “Schools in your community can directly benefit from the redirection of this important funding. We cannot let this money go to waste in Tallahassee.”
Adding on to the argument, Jimmy Patronis, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, commented that “These dollars should go to our schools so they can implement safety measures including hiring more school police officers. Our school districts, many of which are short on public safety resources, can make the quickest use of this money with the school year having already started.”