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Betsy DeVos is reportedly weighing federal funds to arm teachers

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classroom school students
Students
in Patrick Storedahl’s third-grade classroom take a math quiz at
Olympic View Elementary, Friday, March 9, 2018, in Lacey,
Wash.

Associated Press/Ted S.
Warren


  • US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is weighing whether
    to let states use federal funds to purchase guns for teachers,
    according to a
    New York Times
    report published on
    Wednesday. 
  • Current law prohibits the use of federal education
    money to buy firearms, but the US Department of
    Education could target an existing education program that
    provides funding to the poorest schools, and doesn’t
    specifically prohibit firearms purchases. 
  • According to The Times, DeVos could use her discretion
    to approve of such a plan.
  • Trump has suggested arming teachers may help prevent
    school shootings, but the idea was largely rejected throughout
    the US political spectrum.

 

US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is weighing whether to let
states use federal funds to purchase guns for teachers, according
to a
New York Times
report published on Wednesday. 

Current law prohibits the use of federal education money to buy
firearms, but the US Department of Education could target an
existing education program that provides funding to the poorest
schools, and doesn’t specifically prohibit firearms
purchases. 

That program, known as the Student Support and Academic
Enrichment Grant, provides funding
to the nation’s poorest school, with the goal of improving school
conditions, in part through technology.

According to the Times, 
DeVos could, at
her discretion, approve any state or district’s plans to use the
grant’s funds to purchase firearms or pay for firearms training,
unless Congress revises the law. 

In March, the US House of Representatives passed a school
safety bill
which pledged $50 million a year to
local school districts following the

shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
in Parkland,
Florida, that killed 17 people. 

The bill prohibits schools from using that money to buy firearms.

In February, President Donald Trump met with students from
the Parkland High School for a “listening session,” and suggested
that arming teachers could help prevent future mass
shootings. 

“If you had a teacher … who was adept at firearms, it could very
well end the attack very quickly,” Trump said of the
controversial idea.

In a comment to The Times, US Education Department spokesperson
Liz Hill declined to comment on the reported proposal, but
said: “The department is constantly considering and
evaluating policy issues, particularly issues related to school
safety.”

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