Chicago Cuts School Police Budget by More Than Half
After months of pressure from local activists, Chicago Public Schools announced today that it will cut its funding for school police by more than half.
The school district’s proposed $6.9 billion annual budget, released today, cuts funding for school resource officers (SROs) to patrol school hallways from $33 million to no more than $15 million. The school district attributed the reductions to the COVID-shortened school year and the elimination of 48 mobile patrol officers.
“This reduction will allow the district to support the significant investments it is making in other areas while maintaining SRO support for the school communities that vote to remain in the program,” the school district said in a press release accompanying the budget.
Over the last few months, school districts across the country have faced demands to remove or reduce the presence of school resource officers. So far, San Francisco is the largest school district to move toward defunding its SRO program. The Oakland school board also voted unanimously to eliminate the district’s police department and shift its $2.5 million budget to student support services. Minneapolis, Denver, Seattle, Charlottesville, and Portland, Oregon, have also ended or suspended relationships with local police.
Civil liberties groups have long argued that police in schools, along with absurd zero-tolerance policies, exacerbate the “school-to-prison” pipeline and funnel minor offenders into the criminal justice system.
Police departments and organizations like the National Association of School Resource Officer
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