Money to 'harden' schools draws backlash after shootings

Money to 'harden' schools draws backlash after shootings

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - An alliance of U.S. education groups is expressing shock that the Trump administration would let schools buy metal detectors and extra police through a program Congress has used to defend its response to school shootings.

A spending bill this spring included $1.1 billion for a wide-ranging Education Department block grant. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wants schools to use the moneys to "harden" campuses after a gunman killed 10 people at a high school near Houston.

An Education Department spokeswoman says schools can use the money to pay for metal detectors and police. That comes as a surprise to a coalition of national education and counseling groups that says those purchases isn't what Congress intended.

Law enforcement officials told Texas lawmakers this week that metal detectors would be ineffective.

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