the United States, more than 75 million students are enrolled in elementary and
secondary schools and institutions of higher education (IHEs).
Safeguarding their security while they pursue an education is a paramount
concern of federal, state, and local governments, as well as the school
districts, schools, and institutions that enroll these students. The December
14, 2012, shooting deaths of 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook
Elementary School in Newtown, CT, have heightened Congressional concerns
about school security.
Both the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by
the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLBA; P.L. 107-110), and the Higher
Education Act of 1965 (HEA) contain requirements regarding crime and
student safety. The ESEA also includes specific grant programs that
support efforts to prevent school violence.
The ESEA authorizes the federal government’s major programs to assist
disadvantaged students, address teacher quality issues, provide support to
limited English proficient and immigrant students, prevent school violence
and drug abuse, and provide support for public school choice in elementary
and secondary schools. While the prevention of school violence is not the
primary focus of the ESEA, several ESEA programs could potentially
contribute to this effort, most notably ESEA Title IV, Part A, the Safe
and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (SDFSCA). In addition, the ESEA
contains specific provisions related to students attending unsafe schools— the
Unsafe School Choice Option.
The HEA authorizes the federal government’s major student aid programs that
support postsecondary education attendance, as well as other significant
programs such as those providing aid to special groups of IHEs and support
services to enable disadvantaged students to complete secondary school and
enter and complete college. While the HEA does not authorize specific programs
to address campus crime and security issues, Section 485(f) of Title IV of the
HEA contains statutory requirements related to campus crime and security,
known collectively as the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security
Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the Clery Act). Institutions must
comply with these requirements to participate in the federal student aid programs
and other programs authorized by Title IV (e.g., Pell Grants).
This report discusses these provisions and programs as they apply to elementary
and secondary schools and IHEs. It begins with a description of programs
and requirements included in the ESEA, which is followed by a discussion
of relevant requirements included in the HEA.
Date of Report: December 19, 2012
Number of Pages: 18 Order Number: RL33980 Price: $29.95
For email and phone orders, provide a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover card
number, expiration date, and name on the card. Indicate whether you want e-mail
or postal delivery. Phone orders are preferred and receive priority processing.