In the wake of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) today sent a letter to leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee calling for increased funding for school safety programs through the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant program.
The letter, led by Sens. Nelson, Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), asks appropriators to maximize funding for the grant program, which schools can use for school-based health and mental health services, as well as systems to prevent harassment and training programs for personnel to help prevent violence and improve school safety.
“It is more important now than ever that, in addition to both broadly combating the opioid crisis and passing strong gun safety reforms, schools have the resources to help their students be safe and healthy, as well as cope with the trauma associated with gun violence in their communities,” the senators wrote. “While funding for school safety cannot replace meaningful, strong gun safety reforms, as our nation faces these crises, we must answer the call of parents, educators, and students to provide schools and educators with the resources they need to meet these challenges and keep their students safe and healthy.”
The letter was also signed by Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO),Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE) Maria Cantwell (D-OR), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Doug Jones (D-AL), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Mark Warner (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
The letter is available here.