A bill that could soon be voted on in the Ohio House would put the decision of whether or not to have a school resource officer up to voters in each school district.
House Bill 501 seeks to amend Ohio law which, according to the bill’s sponsors, does not define “school safety,” although it does include mental health services, security training and security personnel.
School resource officers, who are usually certified law enforcement officers used under an agreement with the officer’s police or sheriff’s department, would be included in the “security personnel” portion of Ohio law, under the new bill.
If passed, the bill would leave the definition of school safety and security up to voters by allowing school boards to levy a property tax “for the specific purpose of providing ORS services, as opposed to safety and security in general,” according to an analysis of the bill by the Legislative Services Commission.
Municipalities and townships will also be able to levy property taxes “for the specific purpose of funding ORS services for school districts within their jurisdictions” under the bill, according to the LSC.
The bill had its third hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday, without testimony or changes to the SRO portion of the bill. Committee chairman State Rep. Derrick Merrin said the bill could be voted on at the committee’s next meeting.
This story was originally published by the Ohio Capital Journal and is republished here with permission.
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