School safety bills lead education debate

The school shooting in Parkland, Florida, brought the school safety issue front and center again across the country. Minnesota’s legislative session began six days after the shooting and there is no shortage of suggestions on how to keep our students safe this year.

The Governor outlined a school safety package that includes increased funding for facilities and enhanced mental health initiatives and preventative measures in schools. Only one bill has been discussed in the Senate Education Finance Committee, and it would provide funding for just one year for districts. The bill would provide additional school aid, with the minimum amount set at $25,000. Districts could use the money to hire school resource officers, additional school support staff, and install metal detectors and non-breakable glass in windows and doors.

With other bills introduced that would require ongoing funds for schools and expand other funding options for schools, it appears there will be further discussion on school safety during the 2018 session. (SF2754)