WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Mike Braun joined Sen. Roger Marshall, M.D. and Representative Mike Garcia (CA-25) in introducing the Safe Schools Act, legislation to allow COVID relief dollars allocated to schools through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund to be used by schools to harden themselves with physical security measures, such as locks, panic buttons, individual room security systems, video surveillance, and hiring and paying the salaries of armed school resource officers. The legislation will exempt expenses for school security improvements from current ESSER guidelines that require expenses to be related to COVID-19. Senators Tim Scott, Thom Tillis, Steve Daines, Rick Scott, Chuck Grassley, Todd Young and Jerry Moran have cosponsored the legislation.
“Too often our schools are tragically viewed as ‘soft targets.’ The remaining ‘COVID relief funds that have been largely unused or mismanaged would be well spent protecting our children by hardening schools and bolstering school security,” said Senator Braun.
“While we made some progress in previous legislation to make our schools stronger, harder, and safer, certainly there is more that can and must be done immediately to protect kids,” said Senator Marshall. “What happened in Uvalde was a horrific tragedy. While many have been quick to play politics, one thing we can all agree on is that Congress must act to harden schools. For these reasons, I am introducing this legislation that allows the abundance of unused COVID relief dollars to be allocated to secure schools in Kansas and throughout the nation.”
“Now more than ever, we must be proactive in securing our schools. All Constitutional options need to be examined to ensure our children are safe in the classroom. I’m proud to join Senator Marshall in introducing the Safe Schools Act, a common-sense bill that would allow schools to spend leftover COVID relief funds on crucial security improvements to protect students from harm,” said Congressman Garcia.
Full bill text HERE.