Brooks, Larsen Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Improve School Safety Nationwide
WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05) and Congressman Rick Larsen (D-WA02), co-chairs of the Congressional School Safety Caucus, introduced bipartisan legislation to improve security and safety measures in schools nationwide. The School Safety Act would reauthorize the Secure Our Schools program to provide critical funding to local, state and tribal governments to help meet schools’ individual security needs, such as training for students and school personnel and updated security infrastructure.
“Too many of us have felt the effects of school violence in our communities. As a co-founder of the School Safety Caucus, I am committed to ensuring the safety of our schools so that students and educators alike can focus on learning,” said Brooks. “The School Safety Act reauthorizes critical funding needed to protect students against the threats and dangers that schools may face. This bipartisan legislation is something we as policymakers and parents can join together on to help keep our kids and educators safe.”
“Schools must be a place where children, teachers and administrators feel safe,” said Larsen. “As a father of two sons, I remember the concern I felt when their school would experience lockdowns, and I empathize and sympathize with parents’ experiences today. Congress must do much more to make schools and communities safer and shrink the cycle of violence. The School Safety Act helps empower schools to focus on what they do best: teaching students and preparing them for bright futures.”
During the 2017-2018 school year, schools reported a lack of funding as a roadblock in efforts to reduce or prevent crime, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s School Survey on Crime and Safety. The Secure Our Schools grant program, which Congress last authorized from 2002 to 2011, offers flexible funding for schools to assess and improve in their security measures. Grant funding can be used for assessments, violence prevention training and security infrastructure such as lighting, locks or other deterrent measures. The Secure Our Schools program also promotes collaboration between local law enforcement and school districts to better coordinate efforts to provide a safe, secure learning environment.
Read the full text of the School Safety Act here.