CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools district wants to put millions of dollars into next school year's budget to keep students safe in the classroom.
The new plan follows months of school threats in the Carolinas as well as school shootings across the country.
On Wednesday night, CMS requested $5 million for more counselors, psychologists and police officers. CMS also requested $9 million for stronger doors, more fencing and locks and more surveillance.
"Our kids, the 148,000 that we’re blessed to serve, deserve safe schools."
Here’s how the newly released 2018-2019 budget breaks down:
- CMS is requesting more than $9 million dollars for safety equipment. This includes hardening doors, adding fencing and locks and expanding campus/classroom surveillance.
- CMS is requesting $4 million for student support. The district wants to add 33 elementary school counselors, 17 social workers and 10 school psychologists. On average in North Carolina, there is one psychologist for every 2,100 students. The recommended ratio is one to 700 students.
- CMS is requesting more than $600,000 to hire five police officers and two locksmiths and implement active shooter training courses.
CMPD Chief Kerr Putney has voiced his support for wanding and metal detectors, which were not listed in the proposed budget.
"I think the chief and I have had a series of great meetings, and we’re going to keep talking. It may be the occasional use of the wands, particularly when they suspect something going on. But I don’t think we’re going to commit right now to one method or the other," said Dr. Clayton Wilcox, CMS superintendent.
Across the Charlotte area, other school districts and parents have taken proactive steps to keep children safe, including adding fortified doors, ballistic shields and bulletproof book bags.
"You’ve got to begin somewhere."
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education will vote on the budget in May. The county will vote on its budget in June.
To look at the entire budget presentation, click here.