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Cooper To Recommend $130 Million For School Security, Mental Health

Karen A. Blum/ Flickr
Governor Roy Cooper at swearing in ceremony, Jan. 2017

Gov. Roy Cooper announced Thursday that his new budget will recommend $130 million for school security and youth mental health resources.

Ahead of the release of his short session budget, Cooper said that he wants to invest in public safety upgrades for school buildings, increase funding for school resource officers and fund mental health programs for children and youth - among other recommendations.

Cooper said in a statement that school safety must be a priority.

“North Carolina’s classrooms must be safe and supportive places for educators to work and children to learn,” Cooper said. “We should address both classroom security and youth mental health needs and my budget takes meaningful steps to prevent school violence and protect teachers and students.”

Cooper said his budget recommendations go hand-in-hand with the policy changes he supports “to keep dangerous weapons out of the wrong hands.” He announced the changes following the shooting at a school in Parkland, Fl., and they include strengthening background checks and fixing a loophole in state law that exempts buyers of high-capacity assault weapons from the background check process.

The General Assembly will consider Cooper’s budget recommendation when the short session begins May 16.

Jessa O’Connor was an assistant digital news editor and Sunday reporter for WFAE.