School Safety Bill Clears Senate

The Maryland Senate gave final approval Thursday to SB 1265, a bill that would require a resource officer or otherwise adequate law enforcement coverage at all public schools by the start of next school year. The Senate voted 44-0 for the bill, sending it to the House of Delegates.

The original bill would have required only public high schools to either have a school resource officer or assurances of adequate law enforcement coverage by the start of the next school year. Senator Michael Hough proposed an amendment to expand the requirement to all schools. The amendment narrowly passed the Senate, by a vote of 23-22.

The FY 2019 operating budget includes an assortment of school safety funds, including $2.5 million in safety assessment grants to be administered by the Maryland Center for School Safety (and another $2.5 million for 13 new positions at the Center); $10 million in MSDE administered school safety grants; and an additional $10 million in grants to be administered by the IAC for safety-related operating and capital projects. This totals $22.5 million in new school safety funding for local school systems and is in addition to the $10 million in school safety improvement grants provided in the capital budget.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.