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Letter to Representative Steven Rothman supporting the School Safety Enhancements Act (H.R. 2352)

July 21, 2008

Dear Representative Rothman:


On behalf of the National Education Association's (NEA) 3.2 million members, we would like to express our support for the School Safety Enhancements Act (H.R. 2352). We believe this bill will help strengthen your 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 your bill 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 leadership on these important issues and look forward to continuing to work with you in support of great public schools.

Sincerely,

Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Advocacy