Legislation to increase surveillance and deploy National Guard troops in schools, among other measures, could gain bipartisan approval in Congress – but only by sacrificing such education programs as financial literacy for students, Time.com reports.
The school safety bill, introduced by Barbara Boxer of California, was originally going to spend $800 million on surveillance and possible use of Guardsmen in schools. That price tab made it a near impossibility as Congress wages non-stop battles over the budget. The bill likely to emerge from committee this week will be cheaper, and privately Republicans say they expect it to pass the Senate. But ultimately it will require cuts in other programs to pay for it; the GOP has suggested cutting education programs like one on financial literacy to help offset the cost. Democrats are balking, Time.com reports.
The move to drop financial literacy training to pay for increased school security comes just as states such as Mississippi are putting increased emphasis on teaching students the value of managing their money. In fact, Mississippi legislators have reacted favorably this session to a proposal by Treasurer Lynn Fitch to make financial literacy training a requirement for graduation from public high schools.
A bill under consideration in the U.S. House, HB 891, would establish a grant program in the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection to fund the establishment of centers of excellence to support research, development and planning, implementation, and evaluation of effective programs in financial literacy education for young people and families ages 8 through 24 years old, and for other purposes.