Calhoun County Battling with Schools Over Security

ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) - Calhoun County leaders are squabbling with
school officials over funding for school security officers, demanding that the districts pay for the guards themselves.

County commission chairman J.D. Hess said the district agreed to use money from the 1-cent sales tax increase issued in January to pay for the officers.

He said the county will stop paying for the officers Oct. 15.

But school officials say they never made such an agreement.

School Superintendent Judy Stiefel said the money was meant to prevent lay offs and program closings, not to fund security guards.

The tax has generated $3.7 million in revenue for the county school system so far, which nearly fills the district's budget shortfall this year.

The district's seven security positions cost $317,000 a year.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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