Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced a new investment in school safety to better protect teachers and students and prepare against the threat of violence.
Gov. Lee is proposing a $40 million investment for the school safety grant fund. Legislation filed will provide additional changes to existing law to prioritize the distribution of these grants to school resource officers along with other safety priorities such as implementing building security measures or developing innovative violence prevention programs.
Governor Lee noted, "The safety of our children and teachers is a top priority for my administration, and this investment ensures that school districts will have the resources they need to better protect our schools."
He continued, "Several members of the legislature have begun working on school safety measures. We commend their efforts and look forward to working together to protect our students and teachers."
The new funding plan also enables schools that currently have an SRO to pursue grants to fund other safety priorities such as implementing building security measures or developing innovative violence prevention programs.
The governor said, "While we are providing resources for additional security measures for our schools, districts need to also consider programming that identifies students who are in need of intervention. Security is paramount, but we must also double down on efforts to identify harmful situations before they arise."
The Department of Safety and Homeland Security and the Department of Education will jointly oversee programming and grant funds while also providing threat assessment tools.