DeVos on the White House with the unveiling of the new school safety guidelines
Secretary of Education DeVos, the chairman of a commission on school safety.
President Trump’s education minister said Friday that she has “no intention” of taking action with respect to a possible use of federal funds to arm teachers.
“The congress has no permission to me or the Department to make these decisions” about the arming of teachers or training in the use of firearms, Betsy DeVos said.
“I will not take any action that would extend or limit the responsibilities and flexibility granted to the state and local education agencies by the Congress,” DeVos wrote in a letter to the USA. Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia, the top Democrat on the House committee overseeing education.
WATCH LIVE ➡️ Federal Commission on #SchoolSafety Nevada Area to Visit | Best Practices for School Safety in the Building” https://t.co/py921LSukJ
— US Dept of Education (@usedgov) August 23, 2018
DeVos’ remarks came after a top official in her department, when asked about the arming of teachers, said states and local jurisdictions have always had the flexibility to decide how to use federal funds for education.
Frank Brogan, deputy secretary of elementary and secondary education, said the involvement educators “is a good example of a very personal decision on the part of a school or a school district or even a state.”
Democrats and education groups have argued, however, that the money is intended for academics, no guns, adding that the arming of teachers is dangerous and can schools feel like prisons.
It would be up to Congress, not the US. Ministry of Education, to any restrictions or barriers to the use of these funds for purposes that are not in the law, a department spokeswoman said.
Frank Brogan, deputy secretary of elementary and secondary education, speaks in his office in Washington, Aug. 30, 2018.
The discussion arose earlier this month after a small rural school district in Oklahoma and the state of Texas asked the department to clarify what the funds can be used.
“The position is: You have the language … the language is written specifically for and always interpreted to mean” This is your money,'” Brogan said.
Democratic lawmakers and teachers blasted the idea, accusing the Trump management of acting in the interests of the National Rifle Association, and several Congress members have called for legislation that would prohibit the use of these drugs for guns.
Debate over whether teachers should be allowed to carry weapons intensified after President Trump expressed support for the idea after a massacre at a school in the Park, Fla., on Feb. 14 that left 17 people dead.
In the months since the shooting, He has the head of a panel on school safety which is supposed to be a list of recommendations later this year, Politico reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Senator Patty Murray, the top Democrat on the Senate committee on education, said on Twitter that she was “very disappointed that (DeVos) is moving forward with this terrible plan to the federal funds be used to arm teachers.”
“I hope that they are key and we need to keep the pressure on her until she comes,” Murray added.
Amy’s Place is a news editor and reporter for Fox News.