An alliance of U.S. education groups, including the National PTA and the National School Boards Association, expressed shock last week that the Trump administration would let schools pay for metal detectors and police patrols through a $1.1 billion program that the White House and Congress have used to defend their response to an epidemic of school shootings.
The concern comes nearly a month after a gunman killed 10 people at Santa Fe High School near Houston, which prompted Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to urge schools to use federal education dollars to “harden” campuses with more armed guards or by altering buildings. At a hearing last week, school police chiefs endorsed some physical safeguards but waved off metal detectors as ineffective.
Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants can be used by schools to promote “safe and healthy” students, such as for mental health, but the money is also for bolstering academic programs or technology.
A version of this article appeared in the June 20, 2018 edition of Education Week as Proposal to Use Federal Education Grants to ‘Harden’ Schools Draws Backlash