Putting safety before studies

There was a time when public school administrators and board members could plan levy campaigns to raise funds for capital improvements and personnel. Discussions and decisions could focus on gymnasiums, computers and hands-on learning equipment, plus pay and benefits for teachers, custodians, bus drivers and other staff members.

That already had changed even before the murderous rampage at a Florida high school a week ago. Now, security measures are competing for funds and attention.

Schools already have spent money on automatically locking doors and systems that only allow authorized personnel admission to buildings. Some have to budget for school resource officers. Are bulletproof windows and methods to barricade classroom doors next? Training staff to deal with deadly violence?

For public school officials, balancing expenditures for facilities with retaining and attracting staff has been made more complicated by fortifying schools.

Sure, it diverts resources from education. But that’s the current reality.