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A U.S. Senate Committee has approved using funding to help Newtown build a new Sandy Hook Elementary School.  An amendment authorizing the Education Department to use federal dollars to build schools for districts that suffer traumatic events such as those in Newtown has been approved by the Senate education panel. 

 

Senator Chris Murphy says the federal government should help schools scarred by violence just like they already help schools that are felled by natural disasters.

 

Murphy says the amendment was modeled on the existing School Emergency Response to Violence grant program, which provides funds to help school districts recover from a violent or traumatic event through projects intended to help restore a sense of safety and security, but cannot be used for building construction.

 

Some on the Committee opposed the proposal saying it would shift the Education Department into the construction business. 

 

Since 2001, the department has given more than $33 million to 106 schools recovering from violence or other disruptive incidents.

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