ST. PAUL – With the goal of prioritizing student safety, Minnesota House leaders unveiled a legislative proposal March 29 that would allocate approximately $50 million for mental health and school safety funding.
State Representative Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake) said the multifaceted approach will allow for the hiring more school resource officers, student counselors and mental health professionals in addition to making critical building security upgrades.
“We are working together on a bipartisan basis towards making our schools safer for our kids,” Hamilton said. Both House Republicans and Governor Dayton have both embraced the need, and I’m very hopeful an agreement can be reached before session ends.”
The proposals making headway in the House that will be included in the comprehensive proposal:
- School resources officers, student support personnel, and other school security programs funded through increased Safe Schools revenue, including a minimum level of funding for small schools.
- School building security upgrades, and expanded use of Long-Term Facility Maintenance revenue for security projects, including emergency communications systems.
- School-linked mental health programing to ensure better outcomes for all kids.
- Physical security audit grants to provide state assistance to review facility security and crisis management policies.
- Suicide prevention training for teachers to help educators learn how to engage and assist students experiencing mental distress.
- School-based threat assessment teams established to assess, intervene, and report threats facing students, teachers, and staff.
“There’s a sincere willingness to make this happen at the Legislature, and I believe we will put student safety first,” Hamilton concluded.