L.A. Unified Board of Education Condemns Spending Federal Funds to Arm Teachers

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 24, 2018) – It was revealed yesterday that the U.S. Department of Education, under Secretary Betsy DeVos, is considering whether to allow states to use federal funding to arm teachers with guns in classrooms. We strongly condemn the mere possibility of such an unacceptable misuse of education dollars that belong in our classrooms.

School Board President Mónica García, Board Vice President Nick Melvoin, Board Members Dr. George J. McKenna III, Scott M. Schmerelson, Kelly Gonez and Dr. Richard Vladovic agree.

 Here’s why:

  • Guns don’t belong in classrooms. School safety efforts must balance security with serenity in our kids’ learning environments. This starts with increased funding for mental health services, counselors and nurses in schools, and keeping guns out of schools—not inviting more guns in.
  • It is estimated nationally that 94 percent of teachers spend an average of $479 of their own money on school supplies each year. A Glock 17 pistol costs $500. We need more federal funding to give teachers money for pencils and paper, not pistols.
  • The federal spending bill passed in March included more funding for school safety measures and specifically prohibited this money from being spent on arming teachers. This was a bipartisan effort—if Congress can agree that guns don’t belong in classrooms, we should all be able to get on board.

L.A. Unified exists to provide all of our students with the best education possible while keeping them safe and supported. We urge this administration to focus its efforts on helping our students succeed instead of attempting to put guns in their classrooms.

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Contact: Ally Salvaria (213) 241-6387