DeVos plans to buy guns for teachers with ‘academic enrichment’ funds – reports — RT US News

In a bid to make US schools safer, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is reportedly considering using federal funds reserved for the country’s poorest schools to buy guns for teachers instead.

While it has been a long-standing federal government position to not use federal funds to arm schools or staff, DeVos’s department are eyeing the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSEA) grant, an aspect of federal education law that makes no mention of prohibiting weapons purchases with the funding, according to a New York Times report this week.

In March, a bill funding school safety programs, the Stop School Violence Act, saw Congress explicitly forbid using the funds for purchasing weapons for schools.

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However, the ban does not apply to the SSAE fund, argues the Times, and it is at DeVos’ “discretion to approve any state or district plans to use grant funding for firearms and firearm training.”

Coming from a pot of $1 billion under the Every Student Succeeds Act, SSAE grants are usually reserved for the country’s poorest school districts, allowing schools to get extra funding in order to assist students in getting a well-rounded education, enhancing school conditions for learning, and improving digital literacy.

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The reported proposal has already received backlash from gun control advocates. Representative Bobby Scott (D-Virginia), who is the ranking member of the Committee on Education and Workforce and a primary author of the Every Student Succeeds Act, expressed disbelief at how the funds may be used.

“I am certain that Congress never intended – or even imagined – the Education Department would use Title IV funds to buy guns for school teachers,” he tweeted.

“Teachers are educators, not armed security guards,” said Rep. Donald Payne Jr (D-New Jersey). “A safe school environment is one that is free from firearms and where education is at the forefront. The Trump administration’s plan to put more guns in schools is asinine.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Bernie Sanders-aligned congressional candidate in New York, called the plan an example of the “school-to-prison pipeline.”

“94% of teachers spend out-of-pocket money for their classrooms,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “The fact that we can find money for guns in schools, but not enough for new books and supplies, tells you that this is an investment in the school-to-prison pipeline.”

A spokesperson for the Education Department said that they look at a wide variety of methods of improving school safety, but would not confirm the accuracy of the Times report.

“The department is constantly considering and evaluating policy issues, particularly issues related to school safety,” said the spokeswoman, Liz Hill, according to the New York Post. “[Neither] the secretary nor the department issues opinions on hypothetical scenarios.”

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Via RT. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license.