Commissioners OK funding for gate guards
BY KARISSA MILLER
Iredell County commissioners have agreed to fund high school gate guards at all five Iredell-Statesville Schools’ high schools and one high school for Mooresville-Graded Schools District in what Commissioner Gene Houpe called “picking up the gap.”
During the Nov. 21 Board of Commissioners meeting, officials unanimously voted to approve appropriating $91,000 in contingency funds for restoring high school gate guards after residents voiced concerns over the school district’s decision to eliminate funding for the positions for the 2017-2018 school year.
“The school system, unfortunately, had to make tough decisions after funding shortfalls from various sources,” Houpe explained.
Among those positions on the table to be cut were teachers, central office staff, blended learning instructional facilitators, school assistance program coordinator positions, reductions to early college high school teacher contracts, reductions to Junior ROTC teacher contracts and high school gate guards.
The funding for the gate guards will only be available for this school year, during which time Houpe said the education task force will attempt to look at long term funding to secure that position moving forward.
“We appreciate the county commissioners and what they’ve done for us," Superintendent Brady Johnson said, personally thanking Houpe and Commissioner Marvin Norman as education task force members for “leading the charge.”
I-SS will arrange for the positions to be contracted through Wilson Security firm, a local security service that the district has used in the past, Johnson explained.
The school district hopes to have all positions filled by Dec. 15. Lake Norman High School was the only school that kept its gate guard, paying for the position out of the school budget.
Mooresville High School has not had gate guards in the past, but commissioners included them in this measure to ensure safety at all high schools countywide, officials stated.
Additionally, the Sheriff’s Office is also looking into ways that the schools can be more secure and additional measures will be put in place very soon, officials stated.