County, school district focused on uncovering funding sources for SRDs, superintendent says

The two staffs will continue to have conversations, Moore said at a School Board meeting.

Flagler Schools Superintendent LaShakia Moore. File photo
Flagler Schools Superintendent LaShakia Moore. File photo
  • Palm Coast Observer
  • Schools
  • Share

A meeting between Flagler Schools Superintendent LaShakia Moore and Flagler County Administrator Heidi Petito focused on uncovering all avenues possible to fund the district’s school resource deputies, not about the county ending or reducing its $1 million a year contribution to help pay for SRDs on each of the district’s nine campuses.

Moore told School Board members at a March 26 workshop that she, Chief Financial Officer Patty Wormeck and Chief of Technology Ryan Deising met with Petito and county staff on Petito’s invitation.

Petito asked for the meeting in a letter to Moore on Feb. 13, saying the county “can no longer sustain annual legacy expenditures that are not directly aligned with our strategic plan or mandated by state statute…”

Legacy expenditures are ongoing financial commitments that were made by previous commissions.

Moore said the crux of meeting was identifying dollars available to the county and school district such as community grants that would help ensure future funding for school officers.

“We have a commitment from staff to staff to always work together on identifying funds,” Moore said.

The county and school district share the roughly $2.1 million cost for the SRDs. 

At the School Board’s business meeting that evening, Indian Trails Middle School sixth grader Velentina Mondragon stood before the board during public comment to voice her concerns about defunding the SRD program.

Moore reiterated in her closing remarks at the board meeting that the two staffs did have a conversation about what funding opportunities could be available and that the county “has been a great partner for many, many years” in helping fund safe school officers.

She thanked Valentina for coming to the meeting and asking her question. Moore said that not only will the district make sure that it will continue to have law enforcement officers on the campuses, but it will make sure that it will have “our law enforcement officers on our campuses.”

We will come back and continue to have the conversation. But it is not appropriate for staff to make decisions that should rest in the hands of elected officials.”
LASHAKIA MOORE, Flagler Schools superintendent

Board member Colleen Conklin said during the workshop that going back to the 1990s, school resource officers were fully funded by the county.

“This should be a community effort,” she said. “It should not just fall on the school district. That is a shared responsibilty to keep our schools safe.”

Conklin also asked Moore if the topic of the county’s contributions for the George Washington Carver Community Center and the Flagler County Youth Center came up.

Moore said that nothing was implied that the county was not committed to the recently signed interlocal agreement.  

“We will come back and continue to have the conversation,” Moore said. “But it is not appropriate for staff to make decisions that should rest in the hands of elected officials (the School Board and the Board of County Commissioners).” 


Latest News


Your free article limit has been reached this month.
Subscribe now for unlimited digital access to our award-winning local news.