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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Considers Using Federal Funds to Arm Schools

DeVos claims that the Support and Academic Enrichment grants to buy firearms is different than other federal grants, and she want’s to act on this, immediately.

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On Wednesday night, The New York Times reported Education Secretary Betsy DeVos came up with a plan that would allow states to use federal grants to purchase guns for teachers.

While congress passed a school safety bill in March that assigns $50 million to school districts, the use of funding for firearms is prohibited at the federal level. To get around this stipulation, DeVos’s plan, would tap into a grant that doesn’t explicitly prohibit weapons purchases called the Support and Academic Enrichment grant.

The Support and Academic Enrichment grant is a flexible funding source for states to improve student academic achievement and digital literacy and can amount to millions of dollars for states each year. While this grant does not explicitly allow states to purchase firearms for schools there are no written restrictions on these purchases outlined in the endowment.

“The department is constantly considering and evaluating policy issues, particularly issues related to school safety,” Education Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Hill said.

Opposition to this plan comes from multiple departments including law enforcement, educators, and lawmakers.

In a statement to CNBC, The president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, spoke critically of DeVos’ plan calling it “insane” saying it would “make kids and educators less safe” and “turn the U.S. government into an arms dealer for schools.”

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Erin Whitten is currently CMN's Senior Correspondent and is currently a student at Arizona State University majoring in Mass Communications and Media Studies.

Kelly Rosenblatt is a senior majoring in Communications at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. Raised in Austin, Kelly grew up surrounded by good food and even better music. Apart from excessively planning her friends’ birthdays, Kelly loves trying new restaurants, attending live music events and blogging about her experiences at https://rosenblattkl.wixsite.com/sigueme.

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