In response to the Connecticut school shooting, National Rifle Association Vice President Wayne LaPierre on Friday called on the U.S. Congress "to act immediately, to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school and to do it now."
The Sacramento region has 763 public schools. The vast majority do not have school resource officers based at them. The cost of each officer for those schools that do is between $110,000 and $140,000 per year, according to agreements between local police and school districts.
Putting a police officer in every school at those rates would cost between $83 million and $106 million annually. That's significantly more than the entire, annual general fund budget for the Rocklin Unified School District, which educates about 11,000 students. It's also enough to pay the salary of every teacher in Twin Rivers Unified, a district with 27,000 students.
If districts decided to hire and arm full-time, private security guards and pay them minimum wage with no benefits, putting a guard in every local school would still cost about $13 million, equivalent to the general fund budget of a district with about 2,000 students.
This chart shows the estimated costs of putting police officers in all of the region's schools relative to the actual cost of paying teacher salaries in each of Sacramento County's school districts.
Sources: 2011 teacher salary and budget information from California Department of Education; Cost of school resource officers from archived Sacramento City Council and Sacramento County Board of Supervisor agendas.