Gov. Scott Walker lays out timeline for school safety bills

Posted: 5:11 AM, Mar 08, 2018
Updated: 2018-03-08 11:11:55Z

While some Republicans nationally have called for arming teachers in the wake of the Parkland school shooting, here in Wisconsin, many state leaders are calling for other measures.

Governor Scott Walker says he wants to have a school safety package in place by the time state senators return for their last day of session on March 20. 

Walker says he's against arming teachers and says instead he wants to empower local school districts to figure out what's right for themselves.

The governor's spokesperson says after hearing concerns from school leaders across the state, Walker helped schools improve their mental health services but more needs to be done to keep kids safe. 

The Republican controlled assembly recently passed a bill that would create grants for districts to hire armed guards, an approach Walker says he supports. 

He also said he would support funding more districts to install airport-style security. 

"It might cause some inconvenience but I think it's well worth it. To me, there's no reason why any child, any student, any parent, any teacher, should ever have to feel threatened for their security and so we're going to make sure that's the case, but we're not going to include arming teachers," said Walker. 

Tony Evers, Democratic state school superintendent and candidate for governor, laid out a plan to give districts more than 50 million dollars for guards and other services.

Sen. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon, senate education committee chair, says he'd like to spend about double that.

Should a plan pass the senate, Walker has said he could call the assembly back for a special session to take up the possible bills.

Despite Walker's objection, some in the Badger State would like to see armed school staff. 

Rep. Jesse Kremer, R-Kewaskum, has introduced a bill that would establish a pilot program allowing some people to carry weapons on private, parochial and tribal schools, but it has gained little traction.