Gov. Kay Ivey is moving ahead with some policies of her SAFE plan, which is designed to improve school safety, and will wait for legislative approval on others.
Ivey sent a memorandum to the Alabama Department of Education with the five policies, half of the SAFE recommendations, that are to be implemented immediately that mainly focus on reporting systems and evaluation tools.
The other half require legislative approval to be “fully effectuate.”
Those five center around the funding of school resource officers, mental health funding for students, and building infrastructure for school security, such as security cameras connected to a central network.
“The SAFE Council report is a great starting point, but we must take immediate action if we are to see any changes made,” Ivey said. “This is why I have requested specific information from these state agencies and have ordered that they implement the SAFE Council recommendations that do not require legislative action.”
The SAFE council was founded after the Parkland, Flordia, shooting that took more than a dozen lives at a high school. The council released their report earlier this week.
School safety was a late blooming issue of the last Legislative Session with a series of bills being proposed.
One bill that caught national attention was a bill by state Rep. Will Ainsworth, R-Guntersville, that would have armed school personnel including teachers. Ainsworth’s bill did not make an appearance on the House floor after a number of lawmakers voiced concern with the legal implications of the proposal.
There is some speculation that a special session will be called over the summer after the party primaries in June to address school safety but there is no clear indication that it will happen.