HARRISBURG – The Senate approved a resolution today to initiate a comprehensive study of Pennsylvania’s approach to school safety to build on recent successes to keep kids safer in the classroom, according to the resolution’s sponsor, Senator Scott Martin (R-Lancaster).
Senate Resolution 178 calls for the non-partisan Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) to conduct a study and provide recommendations regarding future potential legislative actions to further strengthen school safety and security programs and services created under Act 44 of 2018, of which Martin was one of the lead authors.
The law created Pennsylvania’s School Safety and Security Grant Program, formed the Safe2Say Something anonymous school threat reporting system, and created the School Safety and Security Committee under the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD).
“The Senate has led the way in making sure our schools have the resources they need to keep kids safe,” Martin said. “Now that these programs have been in place for five years, it is critical to take a look back at what we have accomplished and consider ways to make these programs even more efficient and effective in the years ahead.”
Martin’s resolution would direct LBFC to work with PCCD to gather input from a wide variety of stakeholders, including the Pennsylvania State Police, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, the American Institute of Architects, and the state’s major agencies representing schools to review and analyze the successes of Act 44 of 2018.
The study would not only evaluate programs in Pennsylvania, but also include a review of safety and security best practices in other states.
LBFC would be required to present a report of findings and recommendations to the legislature no later than November 30, 2024.
Martin added that the resolution was developed and improved with the input of Republican and Democrat members over the past several months.
“Creating this resolution was a collaborative, bipartisan process, and I appreciate the input from members on both sides of the aisle to ensure the information we gather from this study ultimately helps make our children safer at school,” Martin said.
The LBFC and its staff have conducted numerous projects covering a wide range of important public policy and state program areas, including among others aging, emergency preparedness, community and economic development, education, environmental protection, game and fisheries, health and welfare, law enforcement, liquor control, local government, rural affairs, transportation, and veteran’s affairs.
CONTACT: Jason Thompson