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Editorial: DeVos’ plan to use federal funds on weapons for teachers ill-conceived

New York Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said it best. Diverting federal education money to buy guns for teachers is “atrocious and ill-conceived.”

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is considering letting states use federal money to pay for firearms and firearms training. Doing so would reverse a longstanding federal policy against funding gun purchases. That policy was reaffirmed most recently in March, when Congress passed a school safety bill that prohibits using that law’s funding for guns.

DeVos reportedly is considering allowing gun purchases through grants funded by the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act, which is silent on weapons purchases. That law was intended to help the nation’s poorest schools.

At least nine states already allow armed teachers. That seems ill-conceived to us, but the issue facing DeVos isn’t whether states should allow guns in the classroom.

The issue is whether federal money intended to help the poorest schools educate the poorest students should be diverted to buy guns.

As Elia also said: “It’s absolutely ludicrous.”

According to a New York Times report, Education Department officials believe “Congress should address the vagueness in the law.”

It is more simple than that. DeVos should reject the idea. If she doesn’t Congress should prohibit such funding through legislative action.

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