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Update – City Council Pulls $25,000 out of MPD Budget to Give to Monticello Schools for Boot Camp

May 19th, 2012 by

The Monticello City Council voted unanimously to grant Monticello School’s Superintendent Bobby Harper’s request for $25,000 of additional funding towards the boot camp program, which is a punitive program for students that serves as an alternative for expulsion.

Superintendent Harper told the Council that when the program began it was a joint effort between the County, City, Drew Central School District, and Monticello School District. The County quickly withdrew from helping with funding, and now Drew Central District has had to withdraw as well due to their fiscal distress status. This leaves only Monticello District and the City left to provide money to keep the program going.

“We are right now in a situation where we’re going to have to reevaluate this program. We want to keep it.” “We have an ISS program, which is punitive. It probably costs us $70,000-$80,000 a year, the one at City Park costs us around $300,000 a year. We have one at Vera Lloyd that costs us $185,000 a year. Funds come from Foundation Funding and Title 1, but those costs don’t even include what we provide the Special-Ed teacher to go around and provide services to the Special-Ed kids.” “We just need a little help. We’re asking the council for $25,000. That was Drew Central’s share of the facility…. We think we can keep it open.” “We are trying to keep the kids in school and off the streets.” “We feel like they’re worth it… we just need your help.” – Harper

Mayor Maxwell asked, “How soon do you need an answer?”

“The reason we brought it this month is we’ll be doing budgets in July, and I know you have a lot of things to deal with too, but I just think we need to continue in the spirit of helping each other.” – Harper

Alderman Claudia Hartness – “I think we should consider this. It’s an obligation we have, in my opinion.”

“If we don’t have the program they will be expelled.” – Harper

Alderman Al Peer – “I have been out there to that facility, and the administration is good, and they take the kids off the street… they will go to the street and you will have someone to accept them when they get there.”

Claudia Hartness then made a motion to grant the request to fund the boot camp for $25,000 and Beverly Hudson seconded it.

Alderman Sherrie Gillespie asked Financial Director Kim Fletcher, “Kim, where will we get this money?”

Kim Fletcher stated, “It will come out of your general budget…the police department’s budget.”

It was stated that the City would need to find around $8,000 for this year’s budget, and then work the rest into next year’s budget.

Cpt. Carlos Garcia with Monticello Police Department asked Bobby Harper, “Have you approached the County to see if they can help with this?”

Harper – “No, because Drew Central dropped out.”

Mayor Maxwell asked, “How many of these kids live outside of the city?” “I don’t mind asking the Judge, I think I know what the answer will be, they are stressed, but I don’t mind asking.”

With a motion and a second on the table, the roll was called and the Council unanimously voted to grant the $25,000 to fund boot camp from the Police Department’s budget.

“Thank you very much.” – Superintendent Bobby Harper

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