1. financial flexibility


School districts, through their elected board of trustees, have wide latitude to use revenue from any budgeted or nonbudgeted fund to improve school safety and security. The language in Section 20-9- 236, MCA, allows a district to transfer funds from any fund, other than the retirement fund or debt service fund, to the building reserve fund in order to meet the estimated costs of improvements to school safety and security. Construction-related enhancements covered by the statute include but are not limited to installing and updating school and classroom locks and doors, building entrance video monitoring, surveillance, and emergency response systems.

The statute also authorizes other non-construction-related safety expenditures on “planning for improvements to school safety, including but not limited to the cost of services provided by architects, engineers and other consultants.” While this could include facility planning in conjunction with the measures noted above, it could also authorize expenditures on non-construction experts such as behavioral consultants that could assist a district in planning for methods to improve the safety and security of how education services are delivered to students.