On May 22, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee approved its Fiscal Year 2020 Commerce-Science-Justice funding bill, which would provide $125 million for programs authorized by the STOP School Violence Act, an overall increase of $25 million or 25% compared to 2019.
The programs include Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) grants for mental health training and anonymous reporting systems and Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants for school security and emergency communications systems. Of this amount, the bill approved by the committee provides almost $94 million for BJA and over $31 million for COPS grants, under the School Violence Prevention Program, increasing the latter by over $6 million compared to 2019.
Earlier in the month, the Security Industry Association joined a stakeholder coalition of parent groups and organizations from the education, public safety and solutions provider communities in asking congressional appropriators for this 25% overall increase for the STOP School Violence Act programs, including the full amount for COPS grants authorized in 2020 under the statute, which calls for a third of available funding to support these grants. The bill now awaits further consideration by the full House of Representatives.