The Cost of School Safety
School safety can be very costly. For example, security night guards on the low end, could cost a school around $30,000-$40,000 each year. This is assuming that at least one officer is paid full-time for each night annually at $10- $15/hour.
Most school districts have more than one school, which could mean for three schools the annual cost could jump to $90,000- $120,000. This is the cost for night patrols only. A 24/7 patrol could cost a school $270,000-$360,000 for one officer per a school. If a school adds armed guards, then that number is higher because the average police officer makes $58,000 annually. The cost of human resources can be expensive, however, school safety technologies are costly as well.
Technology may be less expensive over time, but it still costs the school a decent amount of money. According to the Connecticut General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Research (OLR), titled “School Security Technologies”, a single low end camera cost around $500 to $1,000, and a high resolution camera can cost around $8,000. Most schools have more than one camera. OLR estimates for a small elementary school the cost for cameras is around $20,000 to $30,000, and for a large high school, it is around $200,000. This does not include other School Safety items such as: scan cards, alarms, electronic databases, videotaping, and remote access for doorways. And most likely, does not include the cost to run the camera such as the electricity, the networking , or the monitoring. A more modern technology system can cost as much as $400,000.
It is hard to track school annual budgets for security nationally because most schools do not have a separate assigned budget code. However, Education Week estimates the “market for security systems integration in educational institutions is predicted to expand to $4.9 billion in 2017, an 81.5 percent increase from $2.7 billion last year”.
The cost of school safety is expensive, but there is no comparison to the value of children’s lives. Let us make the lives of children a priority, by placing school security into the 2017 budget.