ERIC Number: ED496737
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May-17
Emergency Management: Status of School Districts' Planning and Preparedness. Testimony before the Committee on Homeland Security, House of Representatives. GAO-07-821T
Ashby, Cornelia M.
Government Accountability Office
In this testimony before the House Committee on Homeland Security, the Director of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) discusses the status of school districts' planning and preparedness for emergencies. According to the testimony, federal and state governments support emergency management in school districts with a range of resources and most school districts have developed emergency management plans despite facing challenges; however, not all of these plans incorporate recommended practices, partially because some states receiving this funding may be uncertain as to whether such funding can be allocated to school districts or schools. At the local level, school districts have taken a number of important steps to plan for a range of emergencies, most notably developing emergency management plans; however, in many districts these plans, or their implementation, do not align with federally recommended practices. Additionally, school districts are generally not training with their first responders (i.e., law enforcement, fire, and Emergency Medical Services [EMS]) and community partners (such as the local head of government and local public health agency), which are both federally recommended practices. Finally, many school district officials said that they experience challenges in planning for emergencies due to a lack of equipment, training for staff, and expertise and some school districts face difficulties in communicating and coordinating with first responders and parents, but most said that they do not experience challenges in communicating emergency procedures to students. The GAO is currently considering recommendations that federal agencies clarify and improve guidance to states and school districts to better enable school districts to incorporate recommended practices for emergency management. (Contains 3 tables, 2 figures, and 23 footnotes.)
Descriptors: Emergency Programs, Crisis Management, School Safety, School Security, School Districts, Government School Relationship, Federal Aid, State Aid, State Legislation
US Government Accountability Office. 441 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20548. Tel: 202-512-6000; Web site: http://www.gao/gov
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.