Gov. Charlie Baker was joined by more than a dozen legislatures, superintendents and police chiefs on Monday, Aug. 20 for a roundtable discussing his supplemental spending plan to aid public school security.
“I believe that there are additional opportunities that we should be considering especially when it comes to what takes place on the ground at the schools,” Baker said. “That has led to a $72 million proposal that is currently in front of the legislature that contains many of the proposals that have been brought in front of our staff.”
Baker’s plan includes $40 million in aid to school districts in hiring school counselors, social workers and mental health workers; as well as $20 million in matching grants for security and communication upgrades in public schools and universities.
Rep. Ken Gordon, D-Bedford, said the aid is needed in schools across the state, and that further development in school safety is something that is not only on the minds of legislatures and parents, but students as well.
“It addresses some very important issues in our schools. I had a young boy scout come to me a few weeks ago and he was working on a merit badge for community service, and I said ‘why don’t we work on a project together; what would be meaningful to you?,” Gordon said. “He said ‘in the schools, I feel safe if there is a fire, I know what to do. If we ever had a shooter, I wouldn’t know what to do.’ So that worries me, because our kids are thinking about this stuff.”