House approves school safety bill

SPRINGFIELD IL– The Illinois House has approved Senate Bill 1658, a measure State Representative La Shawn K. Ford is pushing weeks after a deadly school shooting inside a Colorado STEM school. Ford’s legislation creates a program where the Illinois State Board of Education award grants to school districts that want to implement school security measures and training.

"With the passage of SB 1658, Illinois can now ensure that our school districts will have the money they need for equipment and training," Ford said. "School shootings have been on the rise across the country and SB 1658 helps Illinois schools to be prepared."

Dr. James MacKenzie, a prominent Chicago child and adolescent psychiatrist in Chicago, said school infrastructure safety improvements will make kids less worried and help ensure they learn more.

"Today is a win for Illinois schools and children," said Ford. "As a father with a daughter in public schools, SB 1658 passage makes me feel confident that Illinois is making safety a priority."

Synopsis As Introduced:

Amends the School Code to create the Office of School Safety within the State Board of Education. Provides for the Office’s duties. Requires the Office to create a grant program for expenditures related to improving school safety. Provides that grant funds must be used for school security improvements, including training and safety-related upgrades to school buildings, equipment (including metal detectors and x-ray machines), and facilities. Specifies the grant application requirements. Effective January 1, 2020.

For more information, please contact Rep. Ford’s district office at 773-378-5902 or email

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via Chicago, IL Patch

May 25, 2019 at 06:17PM

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