The Education Department could use federal dollars to build schools for districts that suffer traumatic events such as those in Newtown, Conn., under an agreement the Senate education panel approved Wednesday.
Senators rewriting the No Child Left Behind education law agreed to expand the Education Department's authority to help schools face shootings, suicide or other disruptive events. The Education Department does not currently pay for school construction projects and the proposed changes could expand Washington's role in special circumstances. "Like we help schools that are felled by natural disasters ... we should help schools that are felled by mass assassinations," said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.
Adam Lanza, 20, killed his mother at their Newtown home before going to Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he killed 26 people. Twenty of the victims were children.
Newtown schools have already received $1.3 million in federal aid to offset costs the district incurred after the December 2012 shooting as well as provide counseling and training for school officials.