TEMPERANCE -- If Amy Driehorst and Regina Whalen are successful, the Bedford Public Schools will be able to retain the two Monroe County sheriff's deputies assigned full time to the schools.
The two mothers of children in the school district plan to raise $80,000 annually for the next three years so one of these school resource officers won't have to be dropped from the district as a cost-cutting move.
The women have formed a group called BSP CARES, for Bedford Students Protected through Combining Area Resources for Educational Safety, to raise funds from the community. They told the Bedford Board of Education last week that their immediate goal was to raise $15,000 by March 30, the date by which the sheriff's office must be notified if one of the deputies' school jobs is to be eliminated for the next academic year.
The resource officers, Randy Sehl and Randy Krupp, are popular with parents, students, and school staff and are credited with preventing fights and bullying, curbing drug use, and serving as role models.
The district's operating budget, however, has a projected $2.36 million deficit at the end of the year, and the deficit-elimination plan filed with the state includes dropping a resource officer.
Under the cost-cutting move, Deputy Sehl would return to the sheriff's office rotation and bump another deputy with lower seniority.
The two women said their $240,000 total fund-raising goal was ambitious, but possible. Donations can be sent to Bedford Community Foundation/BSP CARES, P.O. Box 216, Lambertville, Mich., 48144. They can also be made online at bedfordcommunityfoundation.com.
"When you break it down per family with students in the Bedford schools, it works out to $29 and some change each," Mrs. Driehorst said.
The women said the Bedford Community Foundation would administer funds collected, and the campaign would have no overhead. They had secured the support of Superintendent Ted Magrum before the board's committee-of-the-whole meeting last week, and board members indicated they were in agreement with the plan.
In another matter, the business that has agreed to pay $10,000 a year toward Bedford Community Stadium in return for being allowed to place ad signs at the press box and baseball and softball fields was revealed to be Barron Insurance Agency and Financial Services of Temperance. The money, to be paid for 10 years, will service debt for six years, then go into a fund to build rest rooms at the stadium.
Mr. Barron told the board that he and his wife, Debra, moved to Bedford Township 28 years ago and loved the community. He held out hope that his business would be able to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to the schools over many years.