Legislation Introduced to Improve School Safety

A group of 13 senators have introduced legislation to allow 100,000 public schools to improve school safety by using federal dollars for school counselors, alarm systems, security cameras and crisis intervention training.
The School Safety & Mental Health Services Improvement Act was introduced by Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker of Tennessee along with other leaders.
Senator 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.”
Under The School Safety & Mental Health Services Improvement Act, the federal government can help in the following four ways:
• encourages more school counselors and other mental health professionals
• encourages school safety infrastructure upgrades
• encourages the development of mental health programs for crisis intervention training and mental health assessments
• creates a presidential task force to increase interagency communication