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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Bud Nornes (R)

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HOUSE REPUBLICANS PUT STUDENT SAFETY FIRST

Thursday, March 29, 2018

 

ST. PAUL – House Republicans unveiled a legislative package Thursday aimed at putting student safety first. Legislators’ multifaceted approach includes more resources to meet the needs of students and schools statewide.

This allows for hiring more school resource officers, student counselors and mental health professionals in addition to making critical building security upgrades. In total, House Republicans are proposing approximately $50 million for mental health and school safety funding, double the amount proposed by Gov. Mark Dayton.

“School safety has always been a concern we’ve had,” said Rep. Bud Nornes, R-Fergus Falls. “When you send your child to school you expect them to be safe, but recent events have made it more of a top-of-the-mind issue. The Legislature is doing what it can to address that by looking at school safety and providing some assistance to local districts and allowing districts to make decisions regarding what’s necessary and the state will help financially.”

The following solutions, authored by numerous House Republican members, are currently advancing through the public committee process, and will be included in the larger proposal:

  • School resource officers, student support personnel, and other school security programs funded through increased Safe Schools revenue, including a floor level of funding for small schools.
  • School building security upgrades, and expanded use of Long-Term Facility Maintenance revenue for security projects, including emergency communications systems.
  • School-linked mental health programming to ensure better outcomes for all kids.
  • Physical security audit grants to provide state assistance to review facility security and crisis management policies.
  • Suicide prevention training for teachers to help educators learn how to engage and assist students experiencing mental distress.
  • School-based threat assessment teams established to assess, intervene, and report threats facing students, teachers, and staff.

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