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News Clash

Why Is Dem Ideology BLOCKING BSCA Dollars From Being Spent On Making Schools Safer?

After Uvalde, there was a bipartisan push to address the failure points that made the children vulnerable that day.

Since Sen Cassidy was a lead negotiator who helped pass that legislation, he knows some of the budgeted dollars in that bill were making the schools themselves more secure. The killer in Uvalde found his way in through a door whose lock wasn’t working correctly.

If armed outsiders can’t gain access to the property, or the children inside, the question of what weapon they might have at their disposal becomes moot.

In Nashville, for instance, we saw the killer consciously select one target among several with relatively light security over others with more. The school’s locked door was irrelevant since she gained entry by shooting out the glass in the door and stepping inside.

Federal dollars were set aside in 2022 to help schools like the one in Nashville come up with the funds required to fortify themselves against threats… but they have been stalled.

Cassidy has been trying to get answers on why they have been stalled. Here’s a story from two days after the Nashville shooting… before the public had seen the footage of that killer shooting her way into the building.

The top Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee is warning the Biden administration that “confusion” about funds granted in last year’s bipartisan school safety bill could lead to “dangerous delays” in protecting campuses from mass shooting events.

Cassidy called on Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to direct his department to clarify that schools can use funding from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) to boost their security and hold security training sessions. He also demanded a written plan of action that includes how the administration plans to “remove federal administrative barriers to the spending of dollars by districts” under the law.

He said school officials have had difficulty accessing the funds needed for “hardening schools” – which includes measures such as fortifying them with single-entry points, reinforcing windows and doors, and fencing. — Yahoo News

School officials had ‘difficulty accessing funds for hardening schools.

Why is that? Because the left is ideologically opposed to hardening schools. Notice there is nothing about ‘single entry points’, ‘reinforced windows’ or ‘fencing’ that indicates a need for metal detectors.

The Center for American Progress pushed a report in Oct ’22 to spend that money on mental health personnel rather than physical upgrades to the building security.

Another CAP piece voiced open opposition to the idea of hardening schools at all. Notice the bait and switch at the end of this quote:

They talk about a ‘sense of safety’ (feelings) rather than the actual reduction of a psycho with murderous intent gaining access to an unprotected school.

It’s almost as if these activists are allergic to the idea of schools becoming as secure as, say, federal buildings.

The ‘EdWeek Research Center’ voiced similar opposition to hardening facilities.

When asked what should be included in a school safety law, respondents to a national survey of educators by the EdWeek Research Center were most likely to support heightened restrictions on gun sales and more funding for student mental health care.

Those elements echo key parts of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, a gun bill that passed Congress Friday.

Action on guns and support for mental health won much stronger support from respondents than “hardening schools” with added security features, arming school staff, or increasing funding for school police. — EdWeek

And guess what? According to what Cassidy said in an interview with The Ruthless Podcast, the Executive branch has been listening to the lobbying of these groups and has created roadblocks limiting access to the funding schools could use to upgrade simple security features like entrances, doors, windows, and fences.

According to Cassidy, who followed up about six months ago, initial guidance given to school superintendents was that the money couldn’t be used to harden schools. So the Senator contacted the secretary of whichever department was giving the guidance and was told it would be sorted out.
Fast forward to this las weekend where the senator bumps into the same superintendent. In the course of conversation, this topic comes up again.

“We couldn’t access those dollars to harden the school. The guidance came out and it was only for schools with an ‘x’ percent of poor people that had previously suffered trauma.”

Worse yet, only three school districts in America were given that guidance, meaning the others don’t even know that money could be used to harden schools.

“Congress wanted EVERY child, even a child at a church school in Nashville which probably had thin margins, to be able to access these dollars to harden the school because even if they’ve not been in a previous episode of trauma, we wanted to make sure there wasn’t one in the future.”

Imagine how different life might look for these families in Nashville if ALL schools had been given guidance back when this bill was first passed in the Fall of 2022, that there’s money for everyone to upgrade your doors and locks to keep the kids inside safe from bad actors outside.

Cassidy drew the analogy between this guidance to legislation passed in response to Uvalde and a theoretical parallel in response to 9/11… imagine if TSA agents were only sent to the airport in Boston.

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Sources Cited

Yahoo News

Center For American Progress


Full Text of BSCA

Wes Walker

Wes Walker is the author of "Blueprint For a Government that Doesn't Suck". He has been lighting up since its inception in July of 2012. Follow on twitter: @Republicanuck