(HARRISBURG, PA) – Today, the Senate approved legislation sponsored by Senator Mike Regan (R-Cumberland/York) to require each school entity in Pennsylvania to have at least one armed school security personnel. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
“School security has been a top priority for me since coming to the legislature 10 years ago as a member of the House of Representatives,” stated Regan. “And each legislative session, I have advocated for doing more to secure our kids in schools.”
Senate Bill 907, as amended, requires each school entity – defined as a school district, an intermediate unit, an area career and technical school, a charter school or a private residential rehabilitative institution – to have one armed school security personnel.
The legislation had previously mandated an armed school security personnel in every school building with a phased-in approach to fulfill that requirement by the 2027-2028 school year.
“Compromise is key in the legislature, and in order to take a step forward, rather than remain stagnant and complacent with current security levels, I worked with leadership and members of my caucus to reach an agreement on the final version of the bill,” explained Regan.
While cost and manpower were two concerns raised about the legislation, two key aspects of the bill remain – providing a waiver process for schools that make a good-faith effort but cannot fulfill the requirement and a reporting provision to ensure the School Safety and Security Committee at the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency has accurate data regarding the types of school security personnel each school entity has and whether or not those individuals are armed and what training they have gone through for their position.
“Through this process, we have come to realize that the data maintained by the Department of Education regarding school security personnel is woefully inaccurate,” stated Regan. “This new reporting requirement will provide a clearer picture of how many schools already have armed security, so that we can build off of Senate Bill 907 and know what it will take to ultimately have an armed officer in every school building.”
“What we do know for certain is that we spend upwards of $40 million on protecting legislators, the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, and the Capitol,” expressed Regan. “Even though we all choose to run for office and take on these jobs voluntarily, we have to go through multiple security checkpoints to get into the Capitol. Meanwhile, we have made it the law that students must attend school but don’t give them the same protections inside their school buildings, which are getting more and more dangerous each and every year.”
With the bill garnering Senate passage, Regan urged members of the House, as well as the Governor, to act quickly to protect vulnerable students.
“I call on my colleagues in the House to think less about their own security and more about those we are putting at risk every day and to pass this important piece of legislation,” expressed Regan, “and for our Governor, who is surrounded by armed State Troopers 24 hours a day, seven days a week – to the tune of 15 million in taxpayer dollars per year – to sign the bill into law.
CONTACT: Bruce McLanahan, (717)-787-8524