Public weighs concerns on boosted security spending | Pittsburgh City Paper

Public weighs concerns on boosted security spending

click to enlarge Public weighs concerns on boosted security spending
CP Illustration: Lucy Chen

Community members raised concerns over increased security funding in the 2023 PPS preliminary during a public hearing Dec. 5. Security personnel received about a $74,000 increase, while safety and security received about a $25,000 increase. The security budget now totals a little over $4 million.

Despite the transitional nature of the budget, community members expressed their opposition to any sort of increase to the security budget.

“PPS has an obligation to make sure that students are getting the resources and support that they need to get a quality education,” said community member Joy Evans. “When PPS pours money into ineffective and harmful policing practices in schools, while failing to fund restorative justice expansion and student support services, it expresses value in controlling and criminalizing black and brown young people instead of supporting them.”

This sentiment was echoed by community advocates on behalf of 412 Justice, a nonprofit focused on economic, environmental, and educational justice.

“There is a need to divest funds from resources that harm and criminalize our students and invest in restorative programs that show positive outcomes,” said advocate Paulette Foster.

“I do understand that public school funding has taken many cuts, and many hits over the years, and continues to decline. So I am super clear that we gotta get really creative when creating budgets moving forward,” said Angel Gober, also with 412 Justice. “We should divest from safety personnel and invest in full time school climate coordinator positions, one for each school, dedicated to implementation of restorative justice programs through the school district.”

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