School security upgrades, mental health resources & crisis training featured in proposal
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 Governor Dayton.
"We are committed to the safety of our children. We listened to school leaders, parents, and community leaders. We looked at what would be effective, and put together a variety of solutions that will meet the unique needs of schools across the state,” said Rep. Duane Quam, R-Byron. “Our student safety proposal addresses student mental health, enhances school security, and provides districts with resources to keep our children safe."
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 authored by Reps. Barb Haley, R-Red Wing and Anna Wills, R-Rosemount.
School building security upgrades, and expanded use of Long-Term Facility Maintenance revenue for security projects, including emergency communications systems authored by Rep. Jenifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie.
School-linked mental health programming to ensure better outcomes for all kids authored by Rep. Jeff Backer, R-Browns Valley.
Physical security audit grants to provide state assistance to review facility security and crisis management policies authored by Reps. Randy Jessup, R-Shoreview and Drew Christensen, R-Savage.
Suicide prevention training for teachers to help educators learn how to engage and assist students experiencing mental distress authored by Rep. Dario Anselmo, R-Edina.
School-based threat assessment teams established to assess, intervene, and report threats facing students, teachers, and staff authored by Rep. Keith Franke, R-St. Paul Park.
“We want to thank Chair Loon and members for developing this comprehensive approach to student safety. As legislative leaders, we owe it to Minnesota children to advance effective, meaningful solutions this session,” concluded Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown and Majority Leader Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers.