LEWISTON — The School Committee on Monday approved the reallocation of funds from other areas of the budget to pay for cameras and sensors in schools that will help monitor student behavior.

At the committee’s Oct. 23 meeting, they directed Superintendent Jake Langlais to start working on a project that will place updated cameras in city schools and place sensors in high school and middle school bathrooms to detect vaping, fighting and other emergency incidents. The bathroom sensors do not record video or sound.

The initial cost to get the project started is $200,000, but Langlais said all of the funds can be reallocated from other budget items. He proposed that $75,000 be reallocated from the McMahan Parking Lot project, which came in under budget. Langlais also proposed that $75,000 be reallocated from the Dingley Ventilation project and $50,000 be reallocated from the Lewiston Middle School Electrical Upgrades project.

If approved, the first phase of the project is expected to be completed within the next year. Governor Longley Elementary will get the first cameras, according to one staff member who spoke at the meeting. Then the sensors will be placed in bathrooms at the middle school and high school, with Thomas J. McMahon Elementary School getting new cameras.

The School Committee approved reallocating all of those funds. Shifting the money to new spending purposes will need to be approved by the City Council next, which City Councilor Linda Scott vowed to fight for.

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