Terrible. DeVos’ new proposal allows schools to purchase firearms with federal funds

The American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA) immediately calls for the resignation of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, due to her reckless leadership of the Department of Education and her failure to adequately implement basic education programs, which is now becoming a serious threat to student safety.

The Department’s consideration to allow schools and districts to use Student Support and Academic Enrichment grant funds to purchase firearms and arm teachers is outright dangerous, and runs contrary to AFSA’s resolution strongly opposing the arming of educators.

Additionally, we call on Congress to swiftly pass legislation that clarifies that federal funds under Title IV-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act cannot be used to purchase firearms under any circumstances. Title IV-A dollars were intended to be spent for direct educational services, like mental health and violence prevention programs, instructional support for technology, and well-rounded curriculums like PE, STEM, and music education. The idea to use these funds to arm teachers is a complete misappropriation of the program.

AFSA and its affiliates have vast experience with addressing school safety issues, and have already developed commonsense solutions to ensure safety in their schools. Therefore, we are appalled that the Department of Education would be willing to pilfer funds from a federal program in order to popularize the notion that arming teachers and having more guns in schools makes kids safer, even when most of the country disagrees, including the school leaders that run our nation’s schools.

It has been made clear time and time again that Betsy DeVos does not put students and families first, she is wholly unqualified to lead the department of education, and she has now crossed the line by putting student safety so blatantly at risk.

It is way past time for Congress to seriously act on this pressing issue. AFSA and its educational partners are standing by, and are ready to serve as a resource in providing common sense solutions that ensure all students are afforded the safe and secure learning environment they need.