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Newtown shootings prompt new school safety legislation in Florida

3:48 PM, Feb 22, 2013   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The Newtown tragedy is prompting legislation at the state Capitol designed to bolster school safety.

Rep. Jim Waldman has put together a bill that would let school districts decide for themselves whether they need to boost security.

It would allow districts to establish special taxing districts to raise money for extra security measures or mental health programs for students.

Waldman said the measure would give voters the chance to decide with referendums if they wanted to raise their taxes to pay for additional security measures.

"The money could be used not only for the school resource officers, but it also could be used for mental health programs and anything related to increasing school safety for our children. I'm a very big proponent of home rule and I think that each county ought to decide for themselves what level of security they want to provide for their children."

Florida is spending about $17 billion on K-12 education this year. About $70 million is set aside for school security measures.

The Florida School Boards Association is pushing for an increase in state funding for school safety.

First Coast News

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