How Davenport Schools’ superintendent is looking to secure the district

DAVENPORT, Iowa --  Davenport's superintendent, Dr. Art Tate, is moving forward to get the funding he wants to beef up security within the school district.

Back in March, Dr. Tate created a proposal to hire additional personnel that's focused on security. 

The proposal included hiring the following positions:

  • 1 security and safety specialist
  • 1 coordinator of student participation
  • 1 mental health coordinator
  • 4 additional school resource officers
  • an undetermined amount of caseworkers
  • an undetermined amount of security guards

To hire these positions, Dr. Tate said he needed to use money from the district's reserve fund, which holds $25 million for emergencies.   But to access that money, he needs lawmakers to give him spending authority.

He said between March 29th and April 16th he sent five letters to Iowa lawmakers. He said his requests for spending authority were not denied, but that he got little response.

"I believe it's going to happen again," Dr. Tate said. "I'm talking about threat to an active shooter in a school, for example, its not just with guns, sometimes there are bomb threats. It's those sort of threats I'm looking to stop them before they get to our schools."

His next plan of action is to reach out to the School Budget Review Committee, which is a state-level review committee.  He would like to see if they would give him the authority to use reserve funds.

While he waits for funding, Dr. Tate said he would like to ramp up the number of drills they do each year from two to four.  He also said he created a group of five people that plan to meet every other week to identify threats and discuss action plans.