Michigan schools to receive $14M for assessing safety plans at districts

Michigan schools are expected to receive $14 million in security assistance funding to help districts assess their current safety plans. The money will be divided into $2,000 grants that every school, whether public or private, can receive.

The bill, which Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to sign Friday, also guarantees several million dollars just for Oxford Community Schools for mental health funding - the site of Michigan's deadliest mass shooting

The bipartisan bill sends $27.5 million in total to schools and represents a massive boost in mental health funding. It was originally designed to only channel money for mental health funding at Oxford schools. 

But following two more mass shootings in New York and Texas, the Michigan legislature boosted the money to help schools across the state ensure their security plans are up-to-date. Republican Rep. Pamela Hornberger of Chesterfield sponsored the bill. 

"We carefully listened to the needs expressed by Oxford and worked with them to provide the tools they need to recover from the lasting impact of the tragedy that students, staff and the building itself withstood," she said in a statement. "This funding plan will help obtain and retain mental health professionals necessary to help with trauma response, help cover legal and public relations costs, provide enhanced security features, cover costs for damage to school property during the shooting, and more." 

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School districts can use the money to hire companies to assess their own school's security. From there, districts can decide what is most needed to ensure their students and teachers are safe. 

I am proud to sign this bill to help keep students safe. This bill represents a true collaboration between the legislature, my office, community members, and school leadership to make sure our schools have the tools they need to protect students in cases of school shootings or other critical incidents," said Whitmer.