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How the omnibus spending law makes schools safer
By Secretary Betsy DeVos
Washington Examiner
March 26, 2018

[President] Trump and his entire administration are committed to making America safe by implementing evidence-based measures that will help improve mental health, prevent crime, and keep violent behavior out of our schools and communities. At the president’s urging, Congress included a number of these provisions into the recent government funding legislation, now signed into law.

The president has called on Congress to expand mental health programs, including those that help identify and treat individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others. Congress heard and acted on this request in its omnibus spending bill, giving $700 million to the Department of Education for Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants. These grants give states flexibility to use the money toward counseling and mental health service programs that can work in their schools and communities.

As part of the bill and at the president’s urging, Congress also passed both the STOP School Violence Act and the Fix NICS Act — referring to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

The STOP School Violence Act helps protect our nation’s youth and educators by providing grants to state and local governments for evidence-based violence prevention training. Administered by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, these grants will provide states with funds for training, technology, and technical assistance to help schools identify potential risks and prevent violent acts.

The Fix NICS Act strengthens background checks by enhancing the accountability of federal agencies to report relevant information to NICS, helping keep firearms out of the hands of those who should not possess them under the law. This act also incentivizes states to improve their own reporting to the federal system.

Trump believes the most important way we can demonstrate meaningful support for the families and communities who have suffered from school violence is to ensure that no other communities suffer as they have. This administration will continue to work diligently to ensure our children are safe in every school and in every community in our great country.

Read the full op-ed here.