From the I can’t make this up file, Betsy DeVos is eyeing using grants intended for our most impoverished schools to buy guns for teachers. um, wha?!?
From the New York Times
When Congress created its academic support fund three years ago, lawmakers had in mind a pot of money that would increase student access to art and music, mental health and technology programs at the nation’s most impoverished schools.
But back-to-back school shootings this year and inquiries from the state of Texas have prompted the education secretary, Betsy DeVos, to examine whether to allow states to tap the school enrichment fund for another purpose: guns.
Such a move would reverse a longstanding position taken by the federal government that it should not pay to outfit schools with weaponry. It would also undermine efforts by Congress to restrict the use of federal funding on guns. As recently as March, 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.
Department officials acknowledged that carrying out the proposal would be the first time that a federal agency has authorized the purchase of weapons without a congressional mandate, according to people familiar with the discussions. And while no such restrictions exist in the federal education law, it could undermine the grant program’s adoption of “drug and violence prevention,” which defines a safe school environment as free of weapons.
In its research, the Education Department has determined that the gun purchases could fall under improving school conditions, people familiar with the department’s thinking said. Under the current guidelines for that part of the grant, 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.
When Trump’s proposal to arm teachers flopped I kind of thought this idea was dead, DeVos saying some schools needed guns to protect themselves from bears notwithstanding, but like a bad penny the idea has resurfaced.
I don’t know whats more outrageous though. That they are pushing an idea educators are overwhelmingly against, they plan to use money designated for our neediest schools to fund it or they think gun purchases would fall under the guise of improving school conditions. You know what improve school conditions? The things the grants are actually designed to pay for.
Friends, I just don’t know what to say anymore.