Obama Directs Congress To Increase Funding for School Security and Mental Health Services
|President Barack Obama signs letters written by Hinna Zeejah, Grant Fritz, Julia Stokes, and Teja Goode backstage in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building's South Court Auditorium after unveiling new gun control proposals as part of the Administration’s response to the Newtown, Conn., shootings, and other tragedies, Jan. 16, 2013. The children wrote to President Obama in the wake of the Newtown tragedy expressing their concerns about gun violence and school safety. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)|
AASA was proud to be invited to attend the roll-out of President Obama's gun violence prevention recommendations where the President signed paperwork initiating 23 executive actions and outlined four major legislative proposals aimed at curbing gun violence. In his order, he asked Congress to do the following related to school security:
- Give $150 million for a Comprehensive School Safety program that would enable school districts and law enforcement agencies to hire school resource officers, school psychologists and social workers. The money could also be used to purchase or upgrade school safety equipment and train teams of staff members to assist students in a crisis.
- Provide $30 million in one-time state grants to allow school districts to develop strong emergency management plans
- Provide $50 million to help 8,000 schools train teachers and staff to improve school safety and climate
- Provide $15 million to help teachers and other adults who work with youth provide "Mental Health First Aid," enabling them to identify students with mental health problems early and steer them toward treatment
- Provide $25 million to offer students mental health services for trauma or anxiety
- Provide $50 million to train 5,000 additional meantal health profesionals serving children and young adults. The money would provide stipends and tuition reimbursement for new mental health professionals that want to work with young people, including in school settings.
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Read the President's plan [PDF] .