Homeland Security Committee to Markup Rep. Payne, Jr.'s CLASS Act Legislation

Mar 12, 2019 Issues: Education, National Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On March 13, the House Committee on Homeland Security will mark up H.R. 1593, the Coordinating and Leveraging Activities for School Security (CLASS) Act, which Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) introduced on March 7. The CLASS Act would position the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to better address escalating risks to school security. Congressman Payne, Jr. is Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. He issued the following statement about the CLASS Act and tomorrow’s markup:

 

“Nearly twenty years after the massacre at Columbine High School and following an uninterrupted string of school shootings nationwide, American schools remain vulnerable to mass shootings,” said Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10). “After the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which left twenty children and six adults dead, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security began directing action to improve school security. Unfortunately, no one has been directed to make sure DHS school security plans are effectively implemented. The CLASS Act will remedy that defect by establishing a council to coordinate the Department’s school security activities.

 

“Ensuring that America’s schools are safe from gun violence is a non-partisan objective. Every Member of Congress should be moved by the voices of young people speaking up to demand that their educational facilities be safe from gun violence. I welcome the Department of Homeland Security’s cooperation to make schools safer for everyone.”

 

The CLASS Act would —

 

  • Establish a coordinating council within DHS to ensure that the Department’s school security activities, plans, and policies are coordinated;
  • Bring together the Under Secretary for Strategy, Policy, and Plans, the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection (CISA), FEMA, the Secret Service, the Office of Academic Engagement, and the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs on the council; and
  • Require the Secretary of Homeland Security to report to relevant Congressional Committees annually on the council’s efforts.

 

Text of the CLASS Act can be found here.