Obama Administration Killed “Readiness and Emergency Management” Funding for Schools

But who can afford to spend money on school safety when there are bigger priorities like shipping Green Energy money to China and F16s to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

“Our hearts are broken today,” President Barack Obama said, wiping a tear from his eyes as he reacted to the tragedy. “As a country we have been through this too many times.

“These neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics,” the president added.

But last year, his administration took a less muted tone as it submitted its 2012 Education Department budget to Congress that eliminated the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) funding, which for years provided between $20 million and $30 million in annual grants to help schools create emergency and crisis preparation and prevention plans for tragedies just like the one that unfolded Friday.

The Education Department’s Web site says it last made REMS grants in 2011.

The funding was cut off even though the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, warned in 2007 that many “many school district officials said that they experience challenges in planning for emergencies due to a lack of equipment, training for staff, and expertise and some school districts face difficulties in communicating and coordinating with first responders and parents.”

Likewise, the Justice Department over the last 12 years distributed nearly $1 billion in funding to help schools hire police resource officers, install metal detectors and take other countermeasures to prevent tragedies like the Columbine massacre.

The town of Newtown, Conn., in fact, took advantage of one of these programs in 2000 when it got $125,000 in funds from the COPS in Schools program, Justice Department records show.

But Justice Department officials said the key programs that provided money directly to schools in the aftermath of Columbine have been phased out as of 2012, the last after the 2011 budget year.

…and just in time too.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    I just got an email from Cloud 9 in response to this article:

    "See? I knew we needed to raise taxes. If the "1%" would pay their "fair share," we wouldn't have to cut any programs AND we'd have enough money to educate gun owners so they'd melt all of their guns and create a big
    statue in the name of peace with Islam. Silly conservatives hate everyone and want them dead instead."

  • Rebas Thgil

    "Obama Administration Killed “Readiness and Emergency Management” Funding for Schools"

    -Which is tantamount to saying that the o administration set the stage for this tragedy. What possibly could have been the motive to do such a thing as this by the same administration that tried to pull a fast one on us, furiously so, to the detriment of- death of – border agent Brian Terry in a foul attempt to subvert the 2nd amendment.?!? I've been saying for some time: 'Impeach, already".

    • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

      Rebas, he did set the stage, basically lit the fuse too.

      Adina Kutnicki, Israel – http://www.adinakutnicki.com/about/

      • Rebas Thgil

        I'll be spending some time reading that blog. Appears to be quite interesting to me so far.

  • Thomas Wells

    Schools can buy guns and training for their guards , janitors or teachers; locks for their doors, fences, and detectors to make the schools at least as safe as junkyards. No doubt the PTA ,and community organizations could help with local fund raising. The cost per school would be less than Air Force One spends in taking Obama’s entourage from one state to another. The plans could be put on a one page memo. Bugger the Department of Education, whose educrates couldn’t make plans for a trip to the water cooler without giving millions of dollars to consulting firms run by past educrates.

  • deelogs

    The REMS program barely made a dent. The number of grants that were distributed every year would barely cover a single jurisdiction's schools let alone the entire nation (less than 100 per year). School administrators must (and do) take responsibility for planning and districts (read – taxpayers) must shoulder the costs associated locally. No one should ever wait for, or expect to receive grant funding (especially competitive grant funding) to begin their planning.

  • David Crittenden

    This isn't on the wealthy. This is on the democrats promising to cut spending on the last budget crisis and they didn't keep their word. If you want to stop the bleeding, cut spending, not investment. Reagan restored the U.S. economy in two years what it is taking Obama eight years to destroy. The democrats lie and they don't keep their word and that is why we cannot trust them this time. Scapedonkeys.

    • consneverserve

      Reagan did not have the biggest financial crisis since the depression and he raised taxes. He also created a huge deficit. The wealthy want to eliminate domestic spending — if u want to twist a domestic budget cut into the democrats' fault, u need to have your head examined or go to confession because u r a liar like most republicans. how are those bush tax cuts workin' out for ya'.? Besides, the last budget crisis during the fiscal cliff where the cons got $1 trillion in spending cuts without any tax increases — is that the budget u r talking about? God u cons r stupid. And your dishonesty cost u the election, big time. hopefully u will keep it up so your party becomes a bad memory.

  • fubar

    I have a better idea. stop funding state run schools.

    they don't teach our children, they don't keep our children safe. just say NO