Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has signed a $100 million plan that would help school districts make their buildings more secure, but would not put limits on guns.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the governor traveled to Victor Haen Elementary School in Kaukauna to sign the legislation, which will provide schools with grants to make building improvements and train their staffs.
“Our $100 million School Safety Plan will help ensure that every student, parent, and teacher feels safe at school,” Walker says. “This bill provides important grant funding that will allow districts to invest in safety measures that will help protect against all threats. This will help protect our students and their future.”
Walker unveiled the legislation in the weeks after a gunman shot 17 people to death at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and as students demand expanded background checks and restrictions on acquiring guns.
The bill moved swiftly through the Republican-controlled Legislature with bipartisan support. Last week the Senate approved it 28-4 and the Assembly 78-8.
The Assembly passed separate legislation last week that would add some additional steps to background checks for purchasing rifles and shotguns. But Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has said his house is unlikely to take ip that legislation.
Walker's safety plan calls for creating an Office of School Safety in Wisconsin's Department of Justice to administer the school safety grants and assist schools with their safety plans.
The legislation also requires school officials to report threats, just as they must report suspected child safety issues.
In his package, Walker also unsuccessfully sought from lawmakers the requirement that parents be notified about cases of bullying within 48 hours. Current law requires schools to notify parents of bullying but does not give a specific time frame for doing so.
The Assembly passed that proposal but the Senate so far has declined to do so.