Bilirakis Champions Effort to Keep Kids Safe at School
Washington, DC: Today, Representative Gus Bilirakis filed the Promoting Resource Officers Together for Exceptionally Critical Targets with
Key Investments in Districts and Schools Act of 2018 (PROTECT KIDS Act). In light of the recent violence which has occurred on school campuses around the country, and the need to keep students safe, the PROTECT KIDS Act would create a funding stream for employing Student Resource Officers (SROs) in schools. The bill authorizes an appropriation of $225,000,000 for the hiring of SROs, and creates a five year Department of Justice matching grant program which will prioritize funding for the nation’s largest school districts (those with 65,000 students or more). Districts can apply for up to $10,000,000 in funding for the hiring of SROs, with a maximum of $20,000 allocated to each school.
“After the Parkland tragedy, I reached out to local Superintendents, School Board members and Sheriffs in my district asking how the federal government can support them in their mission to keep kids safe in school. They told me that the single most important factor in improving safety is the hiring of well-trained School Resource Officers. Sadly, the school districts in the 12th congressional district and throughout the state of Florida do not have sufficient resources to provide a certified School Resource Officer on every campus. Many of these districts are among the largest school systems in the country. While we successfully increased federal grant funding in our last budget bill for the purpose of hiring school resource officers, I knew more support was needed. The PROTECT KIDS Act will help assure parents that their children have a safe and secure learning environment,” said Congressman Bilirakis.
To access a copy of the PROTECT KIDS Act, click here.