Senator Jim Tedisco (R,C,I,REF-Glenville) today announced new legislation he is introducing to create a “Guardians for Schools” New York State License Plate to help our school districts pay for the expense of improving school safety.
The plan also has the backing of Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo, Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino and Hamilton County Sheriff Karl Abrams.
Tedisco’s legislation, which is being drafted, would initiate a new “Guardians for Schools” license plate, with the proceeds from the purchase and continued re-registration of the plates to be designated for a fund for armed school resource officers, enhanced mental health screening and counseling, active shooter and other security training at our schools, the purchase of security cameras and other building modifications needed to improve school safety.
“The ‘Guardians for Schools’ license plate will give millions of caring and concerned New Yorkers the ability to take part in a statewide effort to keep our children safe from violence while raising money to help pay for school resource officers, security training at our schools, mental health counseling, security cameras and other school building modifications to improve school safety,” said Senator Tedisco.
This week, the New York State Sheriff’s Association called for the funding of armed school resource officers at every grade school and high school in the state. Last year, the New York State Senate passed legislation to have a police officer stationed at every New York City school and legislation is pending to have armed school resource officers at all Upstate schools as well as increased funding for additional school safety measures.
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles currently charges up to $60 for an initial registration of a new custom plate and $31.25 for renewals. Personalized custom plates cost up to $91.25 for initial registration and $62.50 for renewals. Tedisco’s legislation would create a dedicated fund for school safety, where state dollars would go toward when someone purchases a “Guardians for Schools” license plate.
“As our state and nation continues to have a conversation about the best approach to keep our children safe at school, there is widespread agreement on some vital safety measures that could be taken right now. However, these solutions will cost our already cash-strapped schools additional resources that, in many instances, they just don’t have,” said Tedisco. “While we need an overall holistic approach to the issue of school safety and funding those efforts, we must do so without increasing the tax burden that New Yorkers and our local governments already face. The ‘Guardians for Schools’ license plate will provide a steady funding source to help our children be safer at schools for years to come.”
“The Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office has been working very closely with our school districts to help improve school safety with our manpower and through our active shooter trainings. Senator Tedisco’s legislation to create a ‘Guardians for Schools’ license plate fund will help us provide armed school resource officers, training and other resources to the Saratoga County schools that need assistance,” said Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo.
“Since I took office, I have been attempting to get support for a grant-funded school resource officer. Senator Tedisco’s innovative ‘Guardians for Schools’ initiative would support our efforts to fund armed school resources officers and other security measures to protect our schools,” said Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino.
“This legislation by Senator Jim Tedisco will be a huge help for the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office so we have more resources to be proactive with training and offer our schools assistance to keep children and adults safe from harm,” said Hamilton County Sheriff Karl G. Abrams.
Draft concept designs of what a “Guardians for Schools” license plate could look like are attached with this release.