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Trump administration sets public school safety and trauma counseling funding on the table for debate

The Trump administration is proposing steep funding cuts for violence prevention and recovery assistance programs for public schools across the country. This comes amid 18 school shootings so far in the first 2 months of 2018.

Donald Trumps budget is seeking to cut $25 million (36%) from the Education Department’s funding for school safety activities. The department has also called for the complete elimination of the Project School Emergency Response to Violence, also known as Project SERV and Project Prevent Grant programs.

President Donald Trump’s FY’19 budget requests for a reduction or complete elimination of funds that have helped cover the costs for counseling and violence prevention programs in public schools. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos sought out for funding levels that she said would “completely abdicate responsibility” for school safety, violence prevention, and recovery, according to a report released Friday by the Center for American Progress (CAP).

This announcement came two days before the most recent school shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida which left 17 dead and over 20 others injured.

Immediately after Wednesday’s mass shooting, DeVos called on Congress to hold hearings on school safety but did not seek to mobilize the Department of Education’s resources to support students, families, and educators affected by the violence, the CAP report said.

However Broward County Public Schools system is providing counseling for anyone who needs the support in the wake of the mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

For the FY’18 and FY’19 budgets, Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos have also proposed eliminating a separate program that is $400 million and addresses student safety and health. Under this program, public schools must use at least 20 percent of their districts funding from this program for efforts such as violence prevention programs, mental health services, and training for crisis management and conflict resolution.

Amidst all of these recent mass shootings all within such a short time period, nothing has been done legislation wise to help mental health or to keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people.

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