Gov. Baker Asks Legislature to Fund Safer Schools
Boston, MA - Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker asked law-markers to allocate a portion of the state's tax surplus towards public schools on Friday, July 13th. His hope is that the redirected money will make the school systems safer for students and teachers, as he wants to utilize $72 million dollars to heighten security and take precautionary steps towards identifying and helping troubles students.
The proposal we have seen broke down some of the specifics: $40 million out of the $72 million would go towards helping school districts hire more social workers and mental health professionals, providing students what Baker hopes is "access to people they could talk to and who were trained to deal with whatever their particular issues or circumstances might be" Additionally, $20 million would be grants that helps school districts further the security in the buildings, through things like upgrades on alarm systems during emergencies, closing entry ways and having single point-of-entry systems to prevent entries from unexpected pathways. He also asks these lawmakers editing the budget to use the rest of the surplus for various other educational programs.
We have seen many problems and dangerous situations continue to rise, especially within our school systems, as it seems like every time we turn on the news there is another act of violence happening in our society. While reference a specific tragedy, the Parkland shooting, a situation on February 14th in which 17 people were murdered at a Florida high school, Baker said "this is something we have been discussing with our colleagues at the local level for the past several months". We have seen Baker help enact many things that support the safety of Bay Staters. He recently signed a "Red Flag" Bill which is a gun control law in that it allows the removal of firearms from anyone considered a high-risk danger.
The Massachusetts State House. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)