Thomas demands Wolf to fully fund school safety grants

A proposal in the governor’s budget would reduce the grants by 75 percent

Rep. Wendi Thomas (R-Bucks) recently sent a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf demanding he reverse a proposal in his budget to reduce school safety grants by 75 percent.

The grants are used for school safety initiatives at schools throughout the Commonwealth.

First created in the 2018-19 budget, these school safety grants provided $40 million to school districts across the state.

“I was proud to support a $20 million increase in the 2019-20 budget because of their proven effectiveness,” Thomas said in the letter. “School safety continues to be a priority for our communities, and your proposal to reduce this important program by 75 percent would greatly hinder our shared goal of helping Pennsylvania’s schools improve safety as they determine what is best for their districts.”

Thomas reminded Wolf of the Secret Service School Safety program she hosted in January, which was attended by well over 200 school personnel, members of law enforcement, EMS and hospital personnel.

“A recurring theme as we work to find ways to keep schools safe is the need for mental health awareness and training,” Thomas said.

On Feb. 13, Thomas will host the House Mental Health Caucus at the Washington Crossing United Methodist Church, 1895 Wrightstown Road in Washington Crossing, for a hearing on how schools can better identify and treat kids with mental health needs. The hearing begins at 10 a.m.

“By funding our school’s safety needs to the best of our ability through grants, we have been able to improve the environment for our young learners without creating burdensome unfunded mandates for our districts and local homeowners,” Thomas said. “As we both know, there is more to be done and we must continue the success we have seen; I implore you to reverse your proposal and support this vital program at the same levels as last year at the minimum.”

The letter to Gov. Wolf can be viewed at repthomas.com/Display/SiteFiles/321/OtherDocuments/ThomasWolfschoolsafetyletter.pdf