School shootings have become such a part of the American landscape that the $15 million that state Senate President Donald E. Williams Jr. wants to spend on school security almost seems a modest amount.
Under the terms of bill awaiting a vote by the House, $1 million from this year's surplus would be divided among Connecticut school districts to conduct districtwide security assessments at all public schools.
Another $10 million in bonding funds would help school districts buy security equipment such as cameras, scan cards and alarms. Grants would range from $10,000 to $200,000.
Mr. Williams' plan would apply the remaining $4 million in surplus funds toward training school personnel in how to use the new security systems.
There are two other important provisions in the bill. One, an obvious response to the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech, would require colleges and private occupational schools to have emergency response plans that include a strategy for notifying students and employees of emergency situations.
The other would require school districts to submit plans for installing a security system with every application for a school construction grant from the state.
The need for enhanced security says something sad about life in the United States. Nevertheless, lawmakers are urged to pass the measure.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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