Trump budget would cut millions in school safety funds: report
President Trump’s proposed 2019 budget would cut millions of dollars from federal education programs designed to help school districts improve safety and provide mental health assistance in the event of a tragedy.
That reduction would include the elimination of “project prevention grants,” which have helped schools across the country fund conflict resolution programs, prevent bullying and pay for mental health assistance for students.
Politico reports the budget would also cut the $1 million in funding for the School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) program, which has previously provided millions in funding to the school district in Newtown, Conn., following the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The program’s website says it funds services to help students “recover from a violent or traumatic event in which the learning environment has been disrupted.”
Liz Hill, an Education Department spokesperson, told Politico that the SERV program’s $5.2 million carry-over funds will allow it to function in the 2019 fiscal year.
Hill also told the newspaper that the department is “committed to providing resources, direct support and technical assistance to schools who have suffered unthinkable tragedy.”
Trump’s budget proposal contains cuts to many federal agencies, including the State Department, the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, while increasing funding for the Pentagon. It also includes funding for a wall long the U.S.-Mexico border.
Politico’s report on how the White House budget would affect school safety funding follows a mass shooting at a Florida high school on Wednesday that left 17 students and faculty dead and more than a dozen others injured.
In a speech Thursday, Trump said making schools safer was a “top priority” for his administration.
“Later this month, I will be meeting with the nation’s governors and attorney generals, where making our schools and our children safer will be our top priority,” Trump said.
“It is not enough to simply take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference. We must actually make that difference,” he added.