DARE Program Cut In One Virginia County To Save Money
Franklin County, Virginia will end the Drug Abuse Resistance Education, or DARE, for public schools at the end of the school year. The cut will save the department $1,483 and will add two deputies to street law enforcement. Because of budget constraints, the two officers usually assigned to DARE will be reassigned to regular duties.
DARE is a full time job for two deputies during the school year, including lesson planning and teaching. In the summer, the deputies take on other assignments. The budget for the DARE program has decreased in past years, dropping for $8,398 in 2008-09 to $1,483 allocated last year. The county says that this is more about stretching resources and adding two more deputies to the street. Franklin County Sheriff Bill Overton said, “I think we can be more effective in dealing with the drug issues by putting people on the streets.”
According to Roanoke.com , this is not the first school to cut the funding for DARE. DARE’s effectiveness has been questioned, and according to the 2001 report “Youth Violence:A Report of the Surgeon General,” but the Sheriff claims that has nothing to do with it. Franklin County Schools cannot show one way or the other if the program works or not. The resource officers at the schools will not be affected by this, and the schools will still have the same amount of law enforcement on campus.