April 18, 2013

School security study backed by teachers union, sportsmen's group

By Edward D. Murphy emurphy@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA — A proposed study of security upgrades for Maine schools was backed by the Maine Education Association and the head of the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine at a legislative hearing Thursday morning.

The study, to be performed by the Maine Department of Education, would look at a wide range of physical measures to improve security at schools.

They include upgraded doors, walls and windows and even "ballistic protection" for walls around administrative areas in schools.

A public hearing on the bill that calls for the study was held Thursday morning by the Legislature's Committee on Educational and Cultural Affairs.

No price tag has been developed for measures that might result from the study, but even backers say the cost would run into the millions of dollars.

Supporters said they believe a bond to pay for security measures for schools would be widely supported and they also suggested federal grants might be offered soon to help communities pay for those improvements.

The committee is expected to act on the proposal next week.

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