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Last week, U.S. Sens. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) introduced the bipartisan School Safety Clearinghouse Act, which would establish a federally funded and housed information clearinghouse detailing best practices for school security and design.
As a result of the STOP School Violence Act, which Senator Jones cosponsored last year, many school districts now have access to state and federal funding to improve school security. The School Safety Clearinghouse Act would allow districts to make informed decisions about how to implement this funding.
“Children deserve to go to school and learn in a safe environment,” Jones said, who is a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. “School leaders should always have the resources they need in order to protect our children and their teachers. Our bipartisan bill is a smart step to get more information to communities about how they can make their schools as safe as possible.”
The clearinghouse would be managed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and include recommendations from engineers, architects, first responders, building security experts and mental health advocates. It would not advocate for specific technologies or tools, or impose any mandates on school districts.
The legislation follows the Federal Commission on School Safety’s December 2018 recommendation of a federal clearinghouse to assess, identify and share information on school security technology and innovation.
The School Safety Clearinghouse Act is also cosponsored by Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia) and Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina).