Democrats Demand Betsy DeVos Prohibit Use of Federal Education Funds for Arming Teachers with Guns
Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA), Ranking Member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, and more than 170 House Democratic colleagues want Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to issue formal guidance prohibiting the use of federal education funding to buy guns for teachers and school staff. They sent a letter on Tuesday to DeVos after a New York Times report revealed the administration was considering a proposal that would allow schools to redirect federal K-12 education funding, for services like mental health counseling, for the purchase of firearms or firearms training. They argue that the Every Student Succeeds Act, which was signed into law in 2015, specifically promotes activities that support “a school environment free of weapons.” “Any use of funds to purchase weapons not only violates intent, but it also clearly contradicts the plain reading of the statute,” the members wrote. “Students and school staff deserve a learning environment that is safe, welcoming, and conducive to quality instruction and student learning.” Earlier this year, Congress opposed spending federal funds to put guns in schools when it authorized the STOP School Violence Act -- which prohibited program funds from being used for the purchase of firearms or firearms training -- in the aftermath of the Parkland, FL school shooting. The members asked DeVos for written confirmation, by the end of this week, of the Department’s intent to issue formal guidance prohibiting the use of federal education funding for the purchase of guns. Read the full letter here.