By Michelle Exstrom
Following the recent 20th anniversary of the school shootings at Columbine High School and in the wake of yet another school shooting nearby in Colorado, NCSL remains committed to its work with state legislators to address this pervasive challenge.
While states have made tremendous progress on some areas, much work remains to address prevention, response and recovery, and ultimately to keep students and staff safe.
NCSL’s website features web-based resources, including overviews of state actions, an interactive bill tracking database and additional resources. We also have published several written pieces on school safety during the past year.
In August 2018, NCSL featured bi-partisan state legislative efforts to improve school safety in a State Legislatures magazine article, “Finding Common Ground.” We also released a school safety Legisbrief in January 2019 to provide an overview of recent actions at the state and federal level and policy options.
We also have hosted recent discussions on the topic. During NCSL’s 2018 Fall Forum, the Education Standing Committee hosted a school safety session and shared the following resources:
NCSL will continue to offer additional learning and discussion opportunities throughout the year. During the 2019 Legislative Summit in Nashville, the education track will include a session on school safety providing legislators an opportunity to hear from top experts.
NCSL also will convene a bipartisan legislative school safety advisory group, made up of 12 legislators appointed by legislative leaders, who will convene during the summer and fall of 2019 to learn from experts about the latest research and best practices and discern policy options. The advisory group will release their findings and recommendations for their colleagues in Summer 2020.
Stay tuned for resources and information shared during these important discussions.
We remain committed to assisting state legislators and staff with this challenging issue.
Michelle Exstrom is the group director of NCSL's Education program.