Letter to the House of Representatives Urging Support for the School Safety Enhancements Act (H.R. 2352)
September 15, 2008
On behalf of the National Education Association's (NEA) 3.2 million members, we urge your support for the School Safety Enhancements Act (H.R. 2352), scheduled for floor consideration today. We believe this bill will help strengthen the already successful Secure Our Schools grant program, while increasing efforts to enhance school safety at both the k-12 and higher education levels.
NEA believes that a secure, positive learning environment is a critical component of a quality education. Safe and orderly schools facilitate effective teaching and learning, while violence or the threat thereof diverts attention and resources away from education. Students cannot learn and educators cannot teach when threatened by physical violence or harassment.
We are pleased that H.R. 2352 would:
- Require institutions of higher education to develop and campus safety assessment and implement a campus emergency response plan . Last year's tragedy at Virginia Tech underscored the need to focus increased resources and attention on postsecondary institutions.
- Increase the federal share of funding for elementary and secondary school security upgrades , thereby ensuring that even localities facing funding crises will be able to institute appropriate safety measures.
- Allow funding for creation of hotlines - an effective tool for reporting of dangerous situations.
We thank you for your consideration of our views on this important issue.
Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations
Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Advocacy