Pelosi Said Congress Allotted $1.6B For School Safety — Not Quite

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi misspoke, according to her office, but that doesn't absolve her of misrepresenting what the money is for.
Posted at 4:59 PM, May 31, 2018

During a recent town hall event on CNN, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was pressed on funding for school safety in the wake of recent school shootings. What she said is loose with the facts.

"In our omnibus bill that we passed just a few weeks ago, we had $1.8 — I think it was $1.8 but it could be $1.6 — billion in there for this purpose, for schools to make, to give them an opportunity to secure them. And those schools have to make those decisions," she said.

First, her numbers are off. Pelosi's office says she was talking about money for a grants program called Student Support and Academic Enrichment. The program is authorized to spend up to $1.6 billion, but the most recent spending bill only alloted $1.1 billion for it. Pelosi's office says she misspoke.

And Pelosi said something that constitutes a big catch.

Pelosi said, "And those schools have to make those decisions."

The schools can spend the money on improving safety. They can also spend it on learning software, programs and prevention tools for illegal drug use, STEM learning efforts, or efforts to integrate technology into face-to-face instruction. Safety and violence prevention is one of many applications of these grants.

So to say the spending package included more than $1 billion to secure schools gives the wrong impression about what that money is for.