The economics of arming America’s schools

What about Gingrich’s proposal? How much would that cost?

As of the 2013-2014 school year, there were about 132,000 public and private schools in the United States, including about 24,000 public high schools. Six to eight guards in those schools means between 791,000 and 1 million guards in place — a bit lower than the size of the armed forces.

To figure out the cost of guarding those schools, we need to know how much those positions would cost. A 2013 analysis of adding armed guards to schools completed by professor Ned Hill of Cleveland State University estimated that school resource officers would run between $75,000 and $97,000 annually. That’s about $80,000 to $103,000 today.

The cost of those officers, then, would run between $63 billion (six guards per school at $80,000 a year) and $109 billion (eight guards at $103,000).