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White Hall board set to consider Redfield resource officer

The White Hall School District Board of Directors was scheduled to consider the hiring of a school resource officer for Hardin Elementary during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night.

“Chief [Steve] McFatridge with the Redfield Police Department spoke with me about the possibility of placing a school resource officer at Hardin,” district superintendent Larry Smith said Tuesday. “I will recommend that the school board pass the measure. I am always very supportive of the presence of school resource officers and in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shootings you just can’t be too careful when it comes to school safety.”

Smith said that the district will draw up an agreement with the RPD.

“It will be a three-year program in which the district covers half of the cost of the officer,” Smith said. “It is the same agreement that we have with the White Hall Police Department. I anticipate that the board will support it.”

Smith said that he would provide the board with a legislative update of the bills that have passed related to education.

“There is one that deals with the use of cell phones and electronic devices by students and another that permanently sets the date for spring break in all Arkansas public school districts as the 38th week of the school year,” Smith said. “There are probably between 40 and 50 acts that have been passed by the state legislature that have to do with education.”

Smith said the board would discuss the results of newly passed legislation that will change the amounts of money provided to students as part of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery.

Under the new law scholarship amounts will be changed to a tiered structure depending on students’ academic classification. Scholarships will start at $2,000 per year for incoming freshmen, and increase each year that a student advances.

Smith said that the board will vote on approval of new employment contracts for certified and classified staff for the 2013-2014 academic year.