Georgia’s Lt. Gov. Burt Jones has proposed a school safety measure to provide a financial incentive for educators to carry firearms on campus.
Per Jones’ proposed legislation, educators would receive a $10,000 annual payment to carry firearms in an effort to increase safety on school campuses.
“One of the most critical duties we have as public servants is to protect those who are most vulnerable – including all of Georgia’s children,” Lt. Gov. Jones wrote in a Wednesday press release. “This legislation and associated state funding will ensure that our school systems and teachers have the necessary resources and training to increase safety across Georgia. Systems and individuals will have the option of participating in the training, certification and stipend, and we hope that the General Assembly will support these efforts to build on recent school safety reforms.”
Lt. Governor Burt Jones Announces Legislative Priority to Increase School Safety
"One of the most critical duties we have as public servants is to protect those who are most vulnerable – including all of Georgia’s children"
— Lt. Governor Burt Jones (@LtGovJonesGA) October 25, 2023
Georgia State Senator Max Burns agreed with Jones’ proposed legislation, saying children’s safety in the classroom is their “first responsibility.”
“This legislation provides another tool to enhance school safety,” Burns added. “Using existing, volunteer employees, we can leverage the current use of School Resource Officers (SRO’s) and make our schools more safe and secure. I’d like to thank Lieutenant Governor Jones and Chairman Dixon for their leadership and support of this initiative.”
“Protecting Georgia students and schools has been and remains a top priority,” said fellow State Senator Clint Dixon. “I am proud of the investments and reforms we have made in improving school security in recent years, and I am now excited to join this effort to further strengthen school safety.”
“With this legislation, we will make sure our teachers are more equipped to handle security threats, our schools are even more prepared for emergency situations, and we will expand grant programs to allow schools to hire additional security personnel,” he continued. “Adhering to our principles, this legislation will maintain local decision making and will not come with any unfunded mandates. I look forward to working hard to pass this legislation to make sure our students remain safe in school and can remain focused on learning.”
The proposed legislation would add to reforms made by the state’s General Assembly regarding safety training for teachers and other school safety plans. The $10,000 annual salary would be an opt-in measure for educators in Georgia schools.
Other bills passed in Georgia during 2023 include the Georgia Early Literacy Act, which requires the state Board of Education to “approve high-quality instructional materials to be used for teaching students in kindergarten through third grade,” and SB211, which established a Georgia Council on Literacy.