SOMIS : District to Expand Anti-Drug Effort

The Somis Union School District's Board of Trustees is moving to bolster its alcohol- and drug-education programs to help obtain more federal and state funding for fighting substance abuse.

Board members, representing a Ventura County district with one kindergarten through eighth-grade school of 321 students, said the decision was solely based on the need for Somis to be in compliance with new federal and state regulations.

"There's money available through the county and down to the school districts, but you have to create certain policies," said Dale Forgey, Somis principal and district superintendent.

"Certain kinds of conditions need to exist in order to get money, which includes things like a community involvement from law enforcement and staff. What we're going to do is expand our old program and infuse more money into staff development and student training."

Somis received $500 in federal and state aid last year, Forgey said. He added that by enhancing the drug-education programs, the district will receive as much as $5,000.

"We're not doing this because we think we have a drug problem. We're doing this because we don't want to get a drug problem," Board President Alda Perry said.

In other business, the board voted to eliminate health benefits as an option for future Somis board members.

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