Maryland Bill Would Allow Casino Revenues To Go Toward School Safety | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Maryland Bill Would Allow Casino Revenues To Go Toward School Safety

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In the aftermath of the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Conn., lawmakers around the region are debating how to increase school safety. Delegates in one Maryland county are introducing a bill that would tap casino revenue to build up programs to support mental health and safety efforts.

A good portion of the revenue generated from Maryland's slot machines goes toward the state's schools. Currently, the money can be put toward salaries, administration and building new schools.

State Del. Nicholaus Kipke (R-Anne Arundel County) wants to expand that. Kipke's new bill would allow school districts to use casino funds for counseling services and to hire armed police officers for schools.

"It will not mandate anything at all. All it does is, it allows the flexibility for all of the local school boards to use these dollars for this program if they believe it's important," he says. "We have to have all tools available."

Last week, President Obama said he supported increasing the number of armed officers in schools. The National PTA disagrees, saying schools should remain 100 percent gun-free.

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