Readshaw: Budget gives schools devising safety plans multiple options

HARRISBURG, July 9 – As school districts across the commonwealth work to develop effective school safety plans, state Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, said he is encouraged that the new budget’s comprehensive funding will give districts the flexibility they need to devise plans best suited to their needs.

“There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to school security needs across the state,” Readshaw said. “That’s why I’m encouraged that the $60 million school safety fund gives districts an array of more than 20 options, so they can apply for targeted grants ranging from building-related, equipment solutions such as metal detectors; to school resource officers; to program-based solutions such as in-school mental health counselors. Different combinations of tools are going to work best.”

Readshaw said he is also encouraged by other aspects of the new school safety initiative, including the newly formed Safety and Security Committee that will oversee the grant program and an anonymous tip line that will allow students, teachers and others to report suspicious activity or behavior without fear of retaliation.

He added that because at least half of the initial $60 million consists of one-time funds, it will be up to lawmakers to ensure that a well-funded program continues. He said he is firmly committed in that area.

“It’s hard to imagine a more important priority than the safety of our kids and those who teach and support them in school,” Readshaw said. “I will always be a ‘yes’ vote for school safety.”