Burt Jones, Georgia’s lieutenant governor, has suggested a program that would pay teachers a bonus if they bring guns to the classroom. The program’s goal is to improve school safety and reduce the likelihood of school shootings.
In exchange for their participation, instructors will get a yearly stipend of $10,000.
The plan also provides for increased financing for licensed school resource officers and more stringent school safety standards. To receive the bonus, the plan calls for teachers and other non-police school workers to complete firearms training.
Republican state senator Max Burns has voiced support for the bill. The Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) and other critics have argued that only trained security personnel should be allowed to carry firearms on school grounds. Prior attempts by Georgia to arm more educators were unsuccessful.
According to Burns, schools may save money in the long run if more teachers were armed since fewer security personnel would be needed. Each security officer costs around $80,000 per year. To avoid mass shootings, Democrats have traditionally advocated for more regulations on who may obtain firearms and where they can carry them rather than increasing security at ostensibly safe sites like schools.
Burt Jones, Georgia’s lieutenant governor, advocates for teachers to be given firearms to increase his political clout in the state. Recently elected, Jones enjoys widespread support from his constituents and is ideologically consistent with President Trump’s.
In 2026, when both the governor’s office and a U.S. Senate seat will be up for election, he is likely to run for higher office. Jones’s proposal may help him differentiate himself from his opponents and establish an early claim on a subject that may play a significant role in his upcoming campaign.
According to Jones’ plan, a voluntary firearms training program for teachers must first be approved by local school districts.
Following a string of mass shootings in the United States, the program is part of a more significant trend toward greater security in schools. Two-thirds of public schools in a government survey implemented access control to school grounds, and 43 percent of public schools reportedly have a “panic button” or quiet alarm.
In addition to holding annual active shooter drills with teachers and students, the state has taken other steps to increase school safety.