Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos wants states to buy guns for teachers and she wants to use federal money to pay for it. DeVos reportedly wants to use a loophole in funding arrangements to redirect funds towards gun purchases.
DeVos reportedly wants to use the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Program to help states buy weapons for teachers. The SSAE grants are intended for student enrichment and are spent in a variety of ways. DeVos plan would see states and districts receive grants to arm teachers.
The proposal is part of the Department of Education’s attempts to deal with gun violence in schools. The United States is almost unique in the world for the number of school shootings that occur and the number of children who die while simply attending school. Video footage from the Parkland shooting has only recently been released.
The Republican majority in Congress has repeatedly rejected calls for tougher gun laws following school shootings, with some GOP politicians instead suggesting exactly what DeVos is suggesting. DeVos said during her confirmation hearing that schools might need guns to shoot grizzly bears. While this was widely mocked, many gun advocates will embrace a plan to arm teachers.
SSAE grants currently amount to $400 million dollars and advice to schools suggests the money should be used to improve students’ welfare and education.