School Board Will Take First Step on Police Contract on Monday

The La Crosse school board will vote Monday on creating a committee that could mark the beginning of the end for a program that puts police officers in local schools.

According to the board’s agenda, the Fund 80 Ad Hoc Committee, if the board approves setting it up, would be responsible for:

1) Synthesizing questions from school board members regarding Fund 80, in particular, the School Resource Officer Program.

2) Compiling a list of stakeholders identified by school board members to solicit input on Fund 80, in particular, the School Resource Officer Program.

The proposed members of the committee are school board members Dawn Comeau, Shaundel Spivey, Pelli Lee and school board president Dr. Laurie Cooper Stoll, according to the board’s agenda. The committee would serve a three-week term, beginning on July 6, and ending on July 27.

The information gathered by the committee would be the first step in the process of looking into the $250,000 contract with La Crosse police before a decision is made on the future of that agreement. The contract pays to put five police officers in middle and high schools and for one district-wide D.A.R.E. officer. 

Cooper Stoll wants the board to study how the $250,000 could be reallocated if the contract with the police department was allowed to expire in June, 2021. She and other board members have made clear that they plan to consider a wide set of opinions on the issue before any final decision is made.

Monday’s school board meeting starts at 6 p.m. and will be held virtually. A link to the live video stream and agenda can be found here.

Public school boards around the nation have been questioning the need to have police officers in schools in the wake of the mass protests against police brutality triggered by the murder of George Floyd. Earlier this week, Madison voted to end its contract with police, and Milwaukee’s school board also recently voted to remove police from its schools.

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