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Kansas schools get more money for security upgrades, none to arm teachers

KANSAS CITY, Kan. --- Some local schools are about to get safer.

The Kansas Department of Education Monday handed out a total of $5 million  to 155 school districts across the state. Districts must match the state funding, and it must be used to boost security at schools.

Local districts receiving money include: Blue Valley, $415,800; Kansas City, Kan., $223,500; Lawrence, $168,500; Olathe, $155,300; and DeSoto, $133,600. Several other Kansas City area districts such as Turner, Leavenworth and Spring Hill also received money but less than $100,000.

This one-time grant is to be used for new doors, windows, security cameras, intercoms and other features to improve the safety of children and staff in school buildings.

Two rural districts - El Dorado and Moscow – asked to use some of the grant the money to buy handguns for teachers, but that request was denied.

A new poll recently released by Phi Delta Kappa, an association of professional educators, shows the majority of people do not support arming teachers. They surveyed more than one-thousand people and on the question of whether they support arming teachers, 37 percent said yes while 63 percent said no.

When asked if they support arming teachers who have more than 80 hours of gun training, the numbers rose slightly with 49 percent saying they would support arming teachers while half the respondents still said no.