Betsy DeVos Eyes Federal Education Grants to Put Guns in Schools

Guidance for grants distributed by the Homeland Security Department which are supposed for “school preparedness,” for instance, notes that weapons and ammunition usually are not permitted. And after the Parkland capturing, Congress added a rule prohibiting the usage of grants for firearms or firearm coaching in the Stop School Violence Act, beneath which the Justice Department will grant funds to faculty districts.

In weighing the proposal, the Education Department has additionally taken into consideration that college shootings weren’t a consideration when Congress handed the Every Student Succeeds Act in 2015, in accordance to individuals acquainted with the discussions. Three of the remaining architects of the legislation — Representative Robert C. Scott, Democrat of Virginia, and Senators Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, and Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington State — have all opposed the thought of arming lecturers.

The scholar assist grant was created from funds from different packages that have been collapsed in the Every Student Succeeds Act that addressed points like psychological well being, violence prevention, bullying and harassment.

The Trump administration has twice moved to get rid of the grant program from its price range. But as Congress drafted a spending invoice in the months after the Parkland capturing, advocates pointed to this system as emblematic of a profitable method to faculty security. Congress as an alternative elevated funding for the grants by $700 million in the invoice handed this 12 months.

After the Parkland capturing, the Trump administration convened a federal fee on faculty security, led by Ms. DeVos, to study matters like psychological and behavioral well being assets, constructing safety and the position of legislation enforcement in colleges.

The fee has held several public hearings the place educators and advocates from throughout the nation have requested for expanded assist workers and companies, together with faculty counselors, and extra safety measures. Members of the fee have additionally visited faculty districts, like in rural Arkansas, the place armed workers may be discovered at colleges in areas not simply reached by legislation enforcement. The fee plans to problem suggestions by the tip of the 12 months.

In June, Ms. DeVos mentioned the fee wouldn’t contemplate the position of weapons in faculty shootings, however she later indicated that the panel would look narrowly at particular points, together with age limits for firearm purchases.

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