U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today reintroduced the Security to Avoid Violence in Educational Settings (SAVES) Act. This legislation would redirect federal funds to establish a grant program to enhance school safety at the state and local levels.
“The first responsibility of any school is to provide for the safety of all students,” said Rounds. “When it comes to our kids, it should not be a one-size-fits-all approach. South Dakota has schools of many sizes and needs. Decisions about education are best made at the state and local levels. This bill would allow states and local schools to determine how to improve school safety in a manner that best fits their needs.”
The SAVES Act would create a new Department of Justice grant program to improve school security. This program would reallocate $500 million in funding over five years to states to create grants for local K-12 schools and school systems. Unlike other federal programs for school security, this grant program will allow states and local schools, rather than federal agencies, to determine how to utilize this money to strengthen school safety.
This grant program would not cost any additional taxpayer money. It would instead transfer funding appropriated in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements at public school facilities. The redirecting of funds would allow schools to access metal detectors and school security officers rather than providing solar panels at schools.
Senators Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) are cosponsors of this legislation.
The SAVES Act is supported by the Associated School Boards of South Dakota.
“Associated School Boards of South Dakota is grateful to Senator Rounds for introducing the SAVES Act,” said Dr. Wade Pogany, Executive Director of Associated School Boards of South Dakota. “The safety of our students is always our highest priority. The resources in this legislation will go a long way is helping schools protect our students.”
Rounds also introduced this legislation in the 117th Congress.
Click HERE for full bill text.