Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04), Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, announced 24 new co-sponsors to his Securing Our Students Act. H.R. 7942 redirects unused American Rescue Plan funding to help identify and implement evidence-based school safety measures. Of the $122 billion appropriated to America’s K-12 schools in last year’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, 93% remains unspent.
“I’m thrilled to announce 24 new co-sponsors of the Securing Our Students Act,” said Rep. Owens. “From threat prevention to classroom protection, my bill green lights untouched funding from the American Rescue Plan to help America’s schools implement evidence-driven safety measures that protect our children and foster safe learning environments. Congress should act quickly to pass this commonsense school safety legislation to immediately help schools prevent future acts of senseless violence.”
“Enhancing school safety measures must be at the forefront of our priorities in Congress. I am proud to join my colleagues in this crucial bill that would allow school districts and non-public schools to utilize funds already allocated by Congress for school hardening measures and mental health services to support students and the community. I commend Congressman Owens’ leadership on this issue,” said Rep. Diaz-Balart.
“No child in this country should ever be unsafe going to school. Local officials and education leaders deserve the resources they need to keep children safe. From putting armed police in our schools to reducing our campuses’ entry points, Miami-Dade County serves as the gold standard for school safety. The Securing our Students Act gives schools across the country the flexibility to reroute federal money to address critical lapses in safety protocols and emulate the work we did in Miami-Dade County. I thank my colleague Congressman Burgess Owens for introducing this legislation and urge its immediate consideration. School safety cannot wait,” said Rep. Gimenez.
“We need solutions to ensure no student, teacher, or parent ever has to go through what the community of Uvalde is going through right now. That is why I’m supporting the Securing Our Students Act, which will strengthen schools’ resources so that school systems can implement increased safety measures and protect students and teachers from threats. I hope this bill is quickly signed into law to provide additional resources to protect the learning environment our students need to be successful and grow,” said Rep. Guthrie.
“There are steps we can take right now to ensure schools across our nation are the safest possible learning environments for our students. One such action is to pass the Securing our Students Act, which would allow school districts to immediately put unused American Rescue Plan funds toward school safety measures. Right now, roughly 93% of K-12 funding from the American Rescue Plan – billions of dollars nationally – remains unspent. I’m proud to join Rep. Owens in this effort, and I urge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to support this measure. I call on the Speaker to bring it to the floor, if we can act on this issue, we should do so expeditiously,” said Rep. Jacobs.
“It is long past time we provide our schools the urgent security measures they require. With over 93% of the $123 billion in the American Rescue Plan unspent, H.R. 7942 is a common-sense fiscally responsible bill that will immediately address school shortages. I am proud to support this legislation and call upon our Majority to bring this up on the House floor for a vote,” said Rep. Latta.
“As a father of four young kids, I firmly believe that no child in America should fear for their life when they enter the classroom. After the tragedy in Uvalde, it’s vital that Congress puts forward evidence-based solutions to secure our classrooms and prevent future acts of violence. I’m proud to support the Securing Our Students Act to redirect billions of unused federal COVID-19 funding towards implementing new safety measures and ensuring safe learning environments in our schools,” said Rep. LaTurner.
“As a father of six, the safety of our children in the classroom is top priority. We cannot erase the tragedy that occurred in Uvalde, but we can offer legislation that ensures it can never happen again. We have to make our schools hard targets and the Securing our Students Act will do just that. Through repurposing ARPA funding, we can implement evidence-driven safety measures and ensure safe learning environments for our kids going forward. I’m glad to join my colleagues on this bill to offer real solutions without compromising our constitutional rights,” said Rep. Mullin.
“Enhancing school security is the quickest way we can ensure our children are safe in their learning environments. The Securing Our School Act will redirect unspent COVID funds towards evidence-based school safety measures that will protect our children, allowing them to grow and thrive in the classroom. I am proud to work with Rep. Owens on solutions that will actually prevent school violence,” said Rep. Stauber.
“There may not be a single solution to the heartbreaking issue of mass shootings in our society, but there are absolutely steps we can take to help prevent these tragedies. There are tens of billions of dollars still unspent from the American Rescue Plan, and the most vulnerable in our society need enhanced security. This legislation is a significant step toward better protecting America’s children, and it’s one Congress must take,” said Rep. Stewart.
“Instead of exploiting recent tragedies to infringe on Americans’ Second Amendment rights, Congress should take a common-sense approach, just as we did when I was in the Wisconsin State Legislature, to ensure our kids are protected in the classroom. The Securing Our Students Act does just that by allowing school districts to immediately use unspent federal funds to update security measures and educate staff on the best practices to use during emergency situations,” said Rep. Tiffany.
The bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Cliff Bentz (OR-02), Mike Bost (IL-12), Jerry Carl (AL-01), Madison Cawthorn (NC-11), Dan Crenshaw (TX-02), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Neal Dunn (FL-02), Pat Fallon (TX-04), Carlos Gimenez (FL-26), Glenn Grothman (WI-06), Brett Guthrie (KY-02), Bill Huizenga (MI-02), Chris Jacobs (NY-27), Robert Latta (OH-05), Jake LaTurner (KS-02), Julia Letlow (LA-05), Peter Meijer (MI-03), Markwayne Mullin (OK-02), Maria Salazar (FL-27), Pete Stauber (MN-08), Greg Steube (FL-17), Chris Stewart (UT-02), GT Thompson (PA-15), and Tom Tiffany (WI-07).
Additional information on the Securing Our Students Act is available here.