In response to an increase in school shootings across the nation, State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) has passed legislation in the Illinois House that would provide school districts with additional flexibility to hire school resource officers or mental health professionals.
HB 3244 would allow counties that impose a school facility tax to put a referendum question before voters to allow a portion of the funds to be used to support the hiring of support staff to assist students. “Student safety is a paramount concern for all school districts, and budget constraints often limit the resources they are able to provide to enhance student safety and well-being,” said Demmer. “HB 3244 allows, by referendum and the approval of local voters, more local control so that individual school districts can make staffing decisions involving school resource officers and mental health professionals that are in their students’ best interests.”
Today 52 of Illinois’ 102 counties have chosen to impose a school facilities tax, and the funds are limited to use only for school facility purposes. HB 3244 would amend the Counties Code to allow a portion of the school facilities tax funds to be used for the hiring of school resource officers or mental health professionals.
The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.