After the Columbine High School shootings a decade ago, hundreds of millions of dollars flooded into schools for metal detectors, security cameras, and emergency-response plans. It put 6,300 police officers on campuses and trained students to handle bullying and manage anger, writes the Wall Street Journal. Now the money is drying up. The primary pot of federal grants has been cut by a third, a loss of $145 million. The Justice Department has scrapped the cops in schools program, once $180 million a year. States are slashing spending or allowing districts to buy books with funds once set aside for security.
The Journal says that an alarming number of schools admit to ignoring inexpensive, common-sense safeguards. Federal funding for school crisis planning has been cut by 25 percent in recent years, a loss of nearly $10 million. What good is a pricey plan, some officials ask, when close to 40 percent of administrators admit they aren’t adequately training their own staff on emergency procedures?