Louisiana State Police has applied for two federal grants to fund improvements to school safety after a series of school shootings earlier this year. Governor John Bel Edwards, speaking at Mckinley High School in Baton Rouge, says if awarded, the grants will fund projects highlighted by a joint commission.
Edwards says the commission’s research team is busy compiling reports on every school in the state.
“We have public safety officials assessing every school in the state, with the option for private schools to participate as well.”
The legislature made a lot of noise about improving school safety during the regular session in spring, but with budget issues suffocating the capitol, didn’t pass much legislation addressing the issue. Edwards says once school safety priorities are identified, leaders will have to contend with how they’ll get funded.
“There are other things that are critically important that we do that have a cost associated with them. We also then have to be committed to find the resources necessary to pay for that implementation.”
Schools nationwide are grappling with questions about safety, with few easy answers in sight. Edwards says safety is the top priority, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of building a welcoming environment suited to learning.
“We want it to be a welcoming environment and we don’t want our schools to look more like prisons.”