Betsy DeVos thinking of using federal money to arm teachers

Despite opposition from educators, law enforcement, and elected officials from both parties, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos – who has never worked in education in any capacity prior to becoming secretary – is apparently mulling over letting school districts use federal funds to buy guns for teachers.

According to the New York Times, the Education Department is considering whether to allow states to use federal funding to purchase guns for teachers, which would go against years of precedent set by the federal government that it will not pay to put weapons in schools. Earlier this year, Congress passed a school safety bill that allocated $50 million a year to local school districts, but expressly prohibited the use of the money for firearms.

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“The department is constantly considering and evaluating policy issues, particularly issues related to school safety,” said Liz Hill, a spokeswoman for the Education Department. “The secretary nor the department issues opinions on hypothetical scenarios.”

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Teachers say #ArmMeWith classroom resources instead of guns
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Teachers say #ArmMeWith classroom resources instead of guns
R E A L • W O R L D • S O L U T I O N S • my friend @thesuperheroteacher and I think that we should find more practical solutions than giving teachers guns. I hope you’ll take the same stance and read the explanation on my stories as to why. Join us. #armmewith
#armmewith the resources and funding needed to help students experiencing mental health issues, NOT guns. Teachers, now (more than ever) is the time to take and stand and say we will not accept another one of our students being lost to another senseless school shooting. We have to strive for MORE. Our students deserve it. Call, write, march... do whatever you can to show enough is enough— we NEED stronger gun laws, we NEED funding for mental health issues, we NEED our students to L I V E so they can change the future of this country. #resist #standup #guncontrol #enoughisenough #notonemore #gunsafety #schoolsafety #mentalhealth #teachertribe #iteachtoo #teachersmatter
We cannot afford to ignore the truth about what is happening in our country. What is truly frightening is the number of people who refuse to make decisions based upon facts. It is a fact that families sent their loved ones to school and now they are planning funerals. It is a fact that futures were ended when they were just beginning. It is a fact that too many students have lost their lives in a space where they are supposed to be educated and protected. It is a fact that too many people in power are not using that power to bring about the necessary changes that could prevent things like this from happening. Far too many bullets claim our students in the streets for them to claim our students in school, too. We don’t need rhetoric when reality is working overtime. #ArmMeWith the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. • • • • • #education #teacher #teachers #teachersofinstagram #teachersfollowteachers #iteachtoo #teacherspayteachers #tpt #englishteacher #highschool #blackteachersrock #blackboyjoy #thedapperteacher #blackhistorymonth #blackhistory #armmewith
#Armmewith is a movement by @thesuperheroteacher and @missbertels_ and I invite you to join in! Skip through my pics and post your own (I’ve included a blank template) or go to goo.go/52XggF to print your own out! . . . The Arm Me With movement is to make our leaders aware of what teachers really need in the classroom. As some of you know, I’m a gun owner and I can shoot a gun, but I do not believe guns belong anywhere near a classroom. Teachers have enough burdens and the classroom is an unpredictable place. Also teachers are outnumbered by kids 30:1 oftentimes. Guns are not the solution here, and I think they’d be catastrophic. Please flip through my ideal solutions and feel free to use the blank picture to create your own solution! . . . . . . #armwithme #schoolsafetynow #educatorsagainstgunviolence #teachersofinstagram #teachersfollowteachers
#armmewith ample time to build relationships, so that every kid knows that they matter, are loved, and have a place on this 🌏
The day teachers are asked to carry guns in the classroom is the day I leave my dream job I’ve had since I was 16 y… https://t.co/meM7oakYRN
Spread the word #ArmMeWith https://t.co/JSg6RboXeb
This is a movement that I can 100% get on board with. If you’ve heard me talk about my class size the last couple years, you will not be surprised that this is one of my hot button issues. In the mind of children, negative attention is still attention, and I believe that as we raise class sizes, overload teachers, and cut support, we will continue to see major behavioral, social, and emotional issues rise to unparalleled levels. I think that reaching out to educators about ways that we can be PROactive, not reactive, in the education world to reduce violence of any kind is absolutely one of the best places to start making a change! . . . . . #ArmMeWith #RealTalk #IssuesInEducation #iTeach2nd #iTeach3rd #TeacherLife #TeachersOfInstagram #TeacherCommunity #TargetTeachers
Thank you to @thesuperheroteacher for starting this movement. #enoughisenough #notonemore #armmewith #teachertribe #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofyoutube #teachersofinstagram
It isn’t enough to teach our children how to read. They need to learn how to deal with the complex emotions facing… https://t.co/v9lnWYYOHn
Teachers want to be heard. ✊ Comment your #ARMMEWITH below!
Can we just all agree that SEL and character education are just as important, if not more, as teaching our core content subjects? Teaching our students to be genuinely GOOD, CARING PEOPLE is the most important thing we can teach them. #armmewith #jointhemovement
Schools need resources. We need counselors and better training with mental health. Children need to have help the moment they need it and not when it's too late. If we help early enough you will never have to get to the too late scenario. So, #armmewith resources and funding to strengthen the mental health of the students and the adults that care for them. Join the movement! Thanks for the pretty image @caffeinatedandcreative ❤️❤️
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According to the Times, the program that the department is thinking of using is the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants, that makes no mention of prohibiting weapons purchases. That would allow DeVos to use her discretion to approve any state or district plans to use grant funding for firearms and firearm training, unless Congress clarifies the law or bans such funding.

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The $1 billion student support program, part of the “Every Student Succeeds Act”, is intended for academic and enrichment opportunities in the country’s poorest schools and calls for school districts to use the money toward three goals: providing a well-rounded education, improving school conditions for learning and improving the use of technology for digital literacy.

Under the current guidelines for improving school conditions, the department encourages schools to increase access to mental health counseling, establish dropout prevention programs, reduce suspensions and expulsions and improve re-entry programs for students transitioning from the juvenile justice system. The Education Department has determined through research that the gun purchases could fall under improving school conditions.

The Trump administration has twice moved to eliminate the grant program – which was first instituted by the Obama Administration three years ago – from its budget. But Congress drafted a spending bill in after the Feb. 14 Parkland, Fla., shooting and increased funding for the grants by $700 million in the bill passed this year.

READ MORE: Black students subjected to disproportionate amount of discipline, Ed. Dept report says

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