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Questions over a last-minute revision to an agreement about armed school employees have delayed the signing of two student-safety contracts between Citrus County sheriff’s and school district officials.

School board members at their Tuesday meeting said they still expect to finalize the school resource officer (SRO) and guardian pacts by their July 30 meeting.

Lindsay Blair, school district spokeswoman, said Tuesday that administrators are waiting for their attorney, Wes Bradshaw, to return from vacation to ask him about language that was taken out of the memorandum of understanding for school guardians.

School officials were hoping to sign off on the separate guardian and SRO contracts on Tuesday after the documents went through final revisions by Bradshaw and the sheriff’s legal team.

When the school district received a recent version of the guardian agreement from the sheriff’s office, administrators noticed the omission, and held off on presenting it and the SRO contract to the board until they find out from Bradshaw if it was part of his negotiations, Blair said.

Buddy Grant, the school’s police chief and school safety specialist, told the board on Tuesday the nine guardians graduated last week from the sheriff’s office’s state-mandated and -funded training to respond to active-shooter emergencies alongside SROs.

“They all did a lot of shooting, and they did it really well,” Grant said, adding he will introduce the guardians to the board on July 30.

“I was very pleased with what I saw,” board member Doug Dodd said about his visit to one of the guardians’ trainings. “Having an immediate backup on school campuses is a great thing.”

In other business from the meeting:

  • District staff informed board members they’ll be presenting a tentative 2019/20 school budget for a first vote on July 30 before a final approval in September.

  • Board members announced the soft opening of the district’s redesigned website.

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Contact Chronicle reporter Buster Thompson at 352-564-2916 or bthompson@chronicleonline.com.

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