The Michigan House Appropriations Committee today approved a broad plan to improve school safety across the state.
The plan approved with bipartisan support includes the creation of a school safety commission to review security procedures, and would provide resources for security improvements in school buildings throughout Michigan. Every school board or governing body of a local district, intermediate school district, public school academy or private school would designate a liaison to work directly with the commission.
“Making our schools safer will take a team approach, and our plan reflects that,” said Rep. Pamela Hornberger of Macomb County’s Chesterfield Township, who sponsors the bill calling for local liaisons to work with the statewide commission.
“This plan helps form key connections needed to improve safety in every school in every neighborhood in every part of our state,” Hornberger said. “This is an important step in ensuring there is a local voice in this process, and one that can help a statewide commission understand the nuances in each individual district.”
The commission would develop a system to audit safety procedures in Michigan schools. Afterwards, grants to improve security would be distributed with priority going to schools with the greatest need.
Other parts of the House plan would make the OK2SAY school safety program permanent, enhance training for law enforcement officers, require reporting procedures for school incidents and threats, and require safety-related measures in new school construction.
The plan advances to the House floor for further consideration.
The legislation: House Bills 5828-30 and 5850-52.