Today, Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) re-introduced the Securing Our Students Act, legislation to redirect unused American Rescue Plan funding to help local school districts identify and implement evidence-based school safety measures. Of the $122 billion appropriated to America’s K-12 schools in the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, 77% remains unspent.
“As a father of six and grandfather to 16, school safety is one of my top priorities in Congress,” said Rep. Owens. “In response to unspeakable tragedy and every parent’s worst nightmare, I introduced the Securing Our Students Act to greenlight billions in untouched funding from the American Rescue Plan to help America’s schools implement safety measures that protect our children and prevent future acts of senseless violence. I am proud to reintroduce this critical legislation today and will continue working to ensure every child in America has a safe environment to learn, grow, and thrive.”
Specifically, the Securing Our Students Act would:
- Clarify that school districts and non-public schools can amend their plans under the American Rescue Plan and use those funds to address their school safety needs.
- Include broad categories of uses, a requirement for the funds to be used to meet the specific need of the school, that the measures implemented are evidence-based, and that there is an accounting of the funds used for these purposes.
- Require states to act expeditiously in approving any amendments to the plans so that schools may begin improving their school safety needs without delay.
The full text of the legislation is available here.