On Tuesday night, House Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole said that Lawmakers are will use the upcoming appropriations bill to fund school safety programs – in light of the horrific school shooting in Florida last month.
Cole addressed reporters, saying “Stay tuned. It’s going to be a nice number,” added, “We are looking at putting additional funding well beyond what was in either the House or Senate [spending proposals.]”
“We’re looking at a variety of ways that we can make more money available to make schools safer,” he added. Currently, the school safety grant program receives about $400 million from the federal government.
It seems even Senate Democrats are on board with expanding spending in this area. Senate Democrats penned a letter last week, explaining their position; “While funding for school safety cannot replace meaningful, strong gun safety reforms, as our nation faces these crises, we must answer the call of parents, educators, and students to provide schools and educators with the resources they need to meet these challenges and keep their students safe and healthy.”
Democratic Senator, Dayton proposed $21 in funding for the “Safe and Secure Schools Act”, in order to provide grants to districts that would expand their mental health capabilities.
Dayton said, “Minnesota students, parents and teachers need all of our schools to be safe places to learn and grow,” Dayton said. “Our mission is to prevent every school shooting. To succeed, we must take action now.”
Even Jeff Sessions, Attorney General, announced on Monday that the Department of Justice will favor school reforms to enhance security and would work to reform better protection for schools from attacks like the Florida Shooting incident, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, which left 17 dead.
“No child should have to fear going to school or walking the streets of their neighborhood,” Sessions said in a statement. “Today, I am directing the Department of Justice to take a number of new steps that will help make schools and the American people safer from the threat of gun violence.”
“We are increasing the number of school resource officers, improving background checks and more aggressively prosecuting those who illegally attempt to purchase a firearm, and reviewing and enhancing the way our law enforcement agencies respond to tips from the public,” Sessions said. “Under my tenure as attorney general, we have already increased federal gun prosecutions to a 10-year high—and we are just getting started. With these new measures in place, we are better positioned to disarm criminals and protect the law-abiding people of this country.”