Local lawmakers react to school safety proposal

By Courtney Terlecki, WAOW

CENTRAL WISCONSIN- Central Wisconsin lawmakers are weighing in after Governor Scott Walker announced school safety legislation proposals.

The bill has seven different components including a $100 million grant program to be used to help schools improve security, training opportunities and school resource officers.

"That's an average of $115 per student, that's more than any other plan that's on the table, it's actually one of the largest plans that proposed in the entire country." said Walker. "We're putting our money where our mouth is."

Local lawmakers agree that something needs to be done and it's a step in the right direction.

"I think that everything is a good start, in fact I talked to most of our superintendents about school safety and a number of the initiatives are a part of this," said State Representative John Spiros. "I think the grants to do that are a great idea."

The proposal doesn't include any gun control changes, and some legislators don't think the bill does enough.

"I'm glad that we're talking about school safety, but we also need to talk about public safety overall," said State Representative Katrina Shankland. "I think we're looking for some common sense reforms."

The grant is just one portion of the bill. It would also create an Office of School Safety as part of the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Reporting school threats would become mandatory and trauma informed care would be added into training programs.

Area lawmakers said they're looking forward to hearing more about the proposal. The Governor called a special legislative session, no exact date has been given. The big question that remains is where the money will come from.