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Possible special session to discuss school safety funding in the works

Palm Beach School District Police. (WPEC)

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. (WPEC) - Some state lawmakers want to travel back to Tallahassee this summer for a special session to bring back more money to better fund schools and safety.

Rep. Matt Willhite gave CBS12 News a copy of the letter he signed pushing for a special session to increase appropriations to school districts.

“People are asking for it, our school boards are asking for it, and if we really want to fulfill the obligation of the school safety, we need it,” he said.

Willhite claims that the cost of implementing the safety provisions of the Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Act has exceeded expectations and schools now require assistance.

The Florida Education Association claims public education funding increased around 47 cents per student after subtracting dollars meant for safety measures and other specific purposes.

“This issue is important and it’s not going away and we need to make sure we’re taking care of our future leaders,” Willhite said.

Leaders at the Palm Beach County School District recently told CBS12 News that the state funding provided is just enough to cover salaries and benefits for 75 new officers, but that’s about it, possibly leaving the district $3 million short. How it will pay for the equipment and possibly even vehicles for the officers is still not known, leaving the door open for a possible tax hike.

To get a special session approved takes one of three options, including 3/5 approval by the legislature.

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