Mar 07 2018

Corker Joins Alexander, Colleagues to Introduce School Safety Legislation

Schools Could Use Federal Dollars for School Counselors, Alarm Systems, Security Cameras, and Crisis Intervention Training

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) today joined U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and 11 colleagues to introduce The School Safety & Mental Health Services Improvement Act. The legislation would allow 100,000 public schools to improve school safety by using federal dollars for school counselors, alarm systems, security cameras and crisis intervention training. 

Alexander said: “We have drafted this legislation to help states and communities keep schools safe. Safe schools are for the most part a local responsibility, but in this case, the federal government can and should help. One way to do this is to give states and local school boards the authority to use federal dollars in different ways to make schools safer. For example, this bill would allow Tennessee to use federal dollars to upgrade school safety procedures, hire school counselors and develop mental health programs.”

Corker said: “We should look closely at everything that can be done to keep our schools and communities safe. This legislation will ensure states and local school boards have the flexibility they need to use the money they receive from the federal government in ways they deem most appropriate. I thank Senator Alexander for his leadership and am glad to join him in this effort. I also am a proud cosponsor of the Fix NICS Act and agree with President Trump that we should ban bump stocks. The American people are demanding solutions, and while these are only first steps, it is my hope that Congress will soon reach agreement on several of these items and take action to protect our children.”

There are 100,000 public schools in the United States, and state and local governments provide about 90 percent of public schools’ funding, but the federal government can and should help create an environment for communities, school boards and states to create safer schools.

The federal government could help in the following four ways if The School Safety & Mental Health Services Improvement Act is passed:

  • Encourage more school counselors and other mental health professionals
  • Encourage school safety infrastructure upgrades
  • Encourage the development of mental health programs for crisis intervention training and mental health assessments
  • Create a presidential task force to increase interagency communication

Click here for the text of the legislation and click here for a one-page summary of the legislation.