Dayton Suggests $21M to Improve School Safety

March 07, 2018 09:59 PM

Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing $21 million in new funding for security enhancements and mental health improvements in Minnesota schools.

Dayton unveiled his plan Wednesday morning. 


The proposal includes giving schools dedicated funds for improvements like bulletproof glass and secure entrances. The plan also expands mental health services in schools and directs school districts to share information on expelled students.

Dayton is separately calling for stricter gun laws like expanding background checks and raising the age to buy assault weapons to 21. Those measures face stiff odds in the GOP-controlled Legislature. 

RELATED: Dayton Readies Plan to Fund School Safety Improvements

The conversation about school safety has been center stage since a recent school shooting in Florida. One school official testified Tuesday that he's been asked about it every day since then.

The House Education Finance Committee took up two school safety bills Tuesday but did not vote on either one.

One bill addressed mental health in schools, the other addressed school security needs.

RELATED: State Democrats Vow to Keep Pushing Gun Law Changes

School officials testified they need more funding to make improvements.

"So for next year, out of our $16 million plan, we are able to dedicate about $600,000 for safety and security," Patricia Magnuson, executive director of finance and operations with Osseo Public Schools, said. "Half of that is just to begin upgrading our security cameras."

Dayton said it's the state's responsibility to prevent a tragedy in Minnesota schools.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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