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All4Ed, Title IV-A Coalition Oppose Using Federal Funds to “Harden” Schools and Purchase Firearms

All4Ed joined the Title IV-A Coalition, comprised of dozens of organizations advocating for increased investments and the successful implementation of the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) Grants program, in opposing the U.S. Department of Education’s consideration to allow school districts to purchase guns with SSAE grant funds.

“These grants were intended to provide direct and ongoing educational services, like mental health services and violence prevention programs that provide tangible support for students, not the one-time purchase of equipment, including
firearms.

While the program authors in Congress intended for flexibility at the district level, there are limitations to the flexibility within the law and it is an absolute stretch to say that the guidance offered in 2016 under the previous administration regarding using Title IV-A funds for schools to improve school safety could be construed to mean unfettered flexibility to purchase firearms. The fact that the Department of Education is so desperate to promote guns in schools—despite its Commission on School Safety’s refusal to even consider the topic—that it is willing to raid a federal program intended to provide educational services like mental health
programs, music and arts education, STEM, AP/IB, computer science and the effective use of technology, is absolutely preposterous and in the opinion of the many diverse organizations we represent, frankly dangerous.”

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