Haslam has proposed $30 million for school safety in Tennessee

By | March 22, 2018 7:18 am

State Senator Paul Bailey

Senator Paul Bailey, of Sparta, was part of school safety working group that made recommendations.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has announced a proposal to invest $30 million to improve school safety across the state in an amendment to the fiscal year 2018-2019 state budgets that will be considered by the Tennessee General Assembly,

The newly proposed funding request includes approximately $25 million in nonrecurring and $5.2 million in recurring school safety grants. The grants will provide a wide variety of school safety enhancement for school districts across Tennessee.

Earlier this month, Haslam appointed a School Safety Working Group. This committee includes State Senator Paul Bailey, of Sparta. The committee provided the governor with recommendations to enhance the security of school children across the state.

This working group was enacted in response to the recent school shootings that took place in Kentucky and Florida that claimed the lives of 19 and wounded countless others. Even as these groups of leaders have been steadfastly working toward making recommendations for the governor, school shooting incidents continue to take place across the country, with the latest taking place, on March 20, at a Maryland-based high school.

According to the governor’s office, in the coming days, the working group will submit options for consideration that will serve as a basis for state action and improved school safety measures.

“Our children deserve to learn in a safe and secure environment, and I’ve asked the working group to make specific recommendations on school safety measures,” stated Haslam. “These additional school safety funds, which include doubling the current amount of recurring funding we have through our school safety grants, will provide our schools with additional resources to meet their specific needs.”

Along with the announcement of the proposed $30 million school safety budget amendment, several other notable investment requests have been made by Haslam for consideration of the Tennessee General Assembly, which include:

-$3 million in nonrecurring funds for grants to provide funding for school districts to address the extra costs associated with purchasing buses equipped with seat belts

-$5 million in nonrecurring broadband accessibility grants, in addition to the $10 million initially included in the FY 18-19 budget

-$9 million in nonrecurring funds to purchase equipment at the 27 Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology to improve and modernize a broad variety of workforce development programs

-An additional $1 million in recurring funds to provide mental health treatment and recovery services as part of TN Together – the governor’s comprehensive plan to end the opioid crisis in Tennessee

-$2 million in nonrecurring funds for an addiction services research program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in support of TN Together

-$10 million in nonrecurring funds for the Aeronautics Development Fund to create jobs and investment opportunities in Tennessee’s aviation industry     These budget amendments will be introduced for consideration and approval by legislators in the General Assembly. Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Larry Martin will present the budget amendments to the State House and State Senate Finance committees, on March 22.

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