Action Plan Aims To Keep Arizona Kids And Communities Safe
PHOENIX — In his State of the State address Monday, Governor Doug Ducey called for enhancing safety in Arizona schools and communities with the Safe Arizona Schools Plan.
During the speech, Governor Ducey said:
“We built a plan that could make a real difference: The Safe Arizona Schools Plan. More cops on campus. More school counselors. Improved background checks. A STOP order that protects Second Amendment rights while keeping guns out of the hands of individuals who are a lethal threat.
“These are solutions that will make schools safer, and it’s time for us to get it done. I’ll be including some elements of this plan in my budget that you’ll see Friday — with an even greater investment than I proposed last year.
“This is simply too important an issue to let partisan politics and special interests get in the way. We’ve got a responsibility to do something for our kids — and we’ve got to do it this session.”
After meeting with Arizona parents, teachers, principals, law enforcement, prosecutors, mental health experts, Democrats and Republicans, and students last spring, Governor Ducey released the Safe Arizona Schools Plan in March of 2018.
Governor Ducey remains committed to enhancing school safety in the 2019 legislative session. His priorities include placing a school resource officer on every high school campus that needs one, continuing to invest in more behavioral and mental health counselors, and establishing a tool, known as the Severe Threat Orders of Protection (STOP), to keep guns out of the hands of those who pose a lethal threat to themselves or others.
Last year’s budget included $10 million as part of the Safe Arizona Schools Plan to increase behavioral and mental health specialists on school campuses across the state. Thought leaders like radio host Hugh Hewitt and David French of the National Review, along with local organizations like the Arizona School Boards Association, the Arizona Rural Schools Association, the Arizona Parent Teacher Association and Arizona School Administrators backed the plan.
Governor Ducey’s FY 2020 Executive Budget will include increased investments to fund elements of the Arizona School Safety Plan, including enough dollars to fully fund the waitlist for schools resource officers — putting a cop on every school campus that has requested one.