In a 3-2 vote on Wednesday evening, the Uintah School Board approved the use of funds for employee raises and the hiring of school counselors and additional security resource officers. Board vice president Robin McClellan made a motion to revise the budget that would allow approximately $3.1 million dollars for use from the maintenance and operations fund for the specified purposes. During the discussion, board member Dave Chivers suggested that the board slow down and wait until the new superintendent and business administrator were in place. He said he did not oppose teacher raises but wanted more time to evaluate. Harlan “Scoot” Wilkins said his priorities were safety and teacher pay. McClellan emphasized her support of the transfer stating that she had run on the priorities of school safety, teacher’s pay, and meeting capital needs in the district so kids could learn in a secure environment. Board member Sarah Lamb responded directly to some public comment critical of school safety concerns and she emphasized that the Sheriff has confirmed the need for more officers in the schools. Board member Kurt Case also addressed specific public comments and emphasized his concern that some are talking about students as though they are not community members when the reality, he says,  is when you strengthen schools, you strengthen communities. He also went into detail on why increased mental health services are needed in the schools based on state data and youth suicide rates which are lesser known to the public due to family rights. Much more discussion was had and it was stated more than once that the funding for the changes was only sustainable for 9 years. When it came time to vote, McClellan’s motion passed with McClellan, Lamb, and Case in favor and Wilkins and Chivers opposed. The revised budget will be presented to the board during the December 11th business meeting for approval.