Ohio House Bill Would Make Voters Choose Safety Measures in Schools

House Bill 501 seeks to change Ohio law that the sponsors of the bill say doesn’t define “school safety and security.”

Photo: Taylor Wilcox, Unsplash

A bill that may be up for a vote soon in the Ohio House would put the decision of whether or not to have a school resource officer up to the voters in each school district.

House Bill 501 seeks to change Ohio law that the sponsors of the bill say doesn’t define “school safety and security,” though it does include mental health services, safety training and safety personnel.

School resource officers, which are typically certified law enforcement officers use through an agreement with the officer’s police or sheriff’s department, would be included in the “safety personnel” part of Ohio law, under the new bill.

If passed, the bill would leave that school safety and security definition up for voters by authorizing school boards to levy property tax “for the specific purpose of providing for SRO services, as opposed to safety and security in general,” according to an analysis of the bill by the Legislative Service Commission.

Municipalities and townships will also be able to levy property taxes “for the specific purpose of funding SRO services for school districts located within their territory” under the bill, according to the LSC.

The bill had its third hearing in House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday, with no testimony and no changes to the SRO part of the bill. Committee chair state Rep. Derrick Merrin said the bill may be voted on at the next committee meeting.

This story was originally published by the Ohio Capital Journal and is republished here with permission.

Stay connected with CityBeat. Subscribe to our newsletters, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google News, Apple News and Reddit.

Send CityBeat a news or story tip or submit a calendar event.

Scroll to read more Ohio News articles
Join the CityBeat Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join CityBeat Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.