Last week, two Republican U.S. Senators introduced legislation that pushes extra funding for school security.
U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) have introduced the School Security Enhancement Act. Both senators’ home states were hit with mass shootings this year and the new legislation looks to harden schools against attackers. The bill was filed on Friday.
The bill looks to ensure local schools are able to use federal Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants for school security projects. Additionally, the bill would allow federal grant money to be spent on hiring school safety officers, upgrading school security technologies and infastructure, and upgrade school communications systems. Other provisions of the bill would help fund metal detectors, provide for infastructure that would limit access to school grounds, and provide for measures such as installing bulletproof doors and windows.
The new legislation will also augment the expected $1 billion in funding under the Stop School Violence Act passed in May of 2018.
The Senators said the following about introducing the legislation:
“Texas has not been exempt from the horror of school shootings,” Sen. Cruz said. “All of us have been horrified by the violent attacks on our students. These students, along with parents, local school boards, teachers, and communities across the country want a solution. Much like the majority of Texans, I believe the number one thing that makes schools safer is having more armed police officers on campuses. Expanding the use of these grants will empower our community leaders and education officials with the resources they need to strengthen our schools, hire school safety officers, and keep our children safe.”
“I’m proud to join Senator Cruz in introducing the School Security Enhancement Act,” Sen. Rubio said. “This legislation will give schools the option to improve security by using federal funds for measures such as hiring security officers, implementing technology and reinforcing safety equipment to respond to a potential crisis. I am steadfast in supporting measures that keep our schools safe and prevent tragedy.”