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Franklin schools ranked as state's 7th safest system

According to a study by www.niche.com, Franklin County Schools rank as Alabama's 7th safest public school system.

The website analyzes public data information and millions of reviews to produce comprehensive rankings and profiles for every school, college and neighborhood in the United States.

Hoover City Schools were ranked as Alabama's safest school system. All six systems ranked ahead of Franklin County were city school systems, meaning Franklin County ranked as the state's safest county school district.

According to www.al.com, factors used in calculating the rankings included parent and student surveys; expenses per student; school absenteeism; in-school and out-of-school suspensions; expulsions; law enforcement referrals and student-related arrests.

Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow (D-Red Bay), who sponsored legislation in 2013 to create a volunteer school security force in Franklin County Schools, praised the efforts of local law enforcement and school officials in keeping a safe on-campus environment.

The critics, especially ex-governor Bentley, said that the legislation would make Franklin County Schools unsafe. You and your staff have certainly proven him wrong. Congratulations to you and all the Franklin County Schools personnel for bringing safety to our children along with the hard work of Sheriff Shannon Oliver and the entire department in protecting our schools in rural Franklin County,” Morrow said.

Niche gave Franklin County Schools an grade of A-minus for health and safety. Other grades included B-minus for the overall system; B-minus for academics; C-plus for teachers; B for clubs and activities; C-plus for diversity and C-plus for college readiness.

Last month the Franklin County Sheriff's Department applied for a Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant in the amount of $125,000. The grant would be paid over three years and would be earmarked for a school resource officer (or officers) to be shared by Vina, Tharptown, Belgreen and East Franklin Schools.

The grant provides for 75/25 funding, meaning the sheriff's department, along with the assistance of Franklin County Schools, would be responsible for 25 percent of the total grant amount.

We're trying to do everything we can to get school resource officers on our campuses,” Franklin County Schools Superintendent Greg Hamilton said. “This has been and remains extremely important to me. The sheriff has been on board with this entire process. We had deputies on our campuses this spring when it was possible. Sheriff Oliver should be commended for it. We appreciate his willingness to help us, along with the support of the Franklin County Commission,” he added.

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