Hoyle Seeks to Keep Hunter Safety Classes in Schools

The Department of Education may halt federal funding for archery and hunting safety programs in schools, and our District’s Rep. Val Hoyle is leading a bipartisan effort to motivate them to reconsider. 

Hoyle, is working with Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-04). Together, they’ve authored a bipartisan letter to Secretary Cardonaurging  of the U.S. Department of Education. 

They’re asking  for a reinterpretation of a provision in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), which has resulted in the potential halting of federal funding for archery and hunting safety programs in schools, directly impacting rural communities. 

 “The Department of Education has determined that federal funds can’t be used for archery or hunter safety courses. These programs get students into the outdoors learning important skills like hunter safety and physical agility, along with an appreciation for conservation and learning to safely use firearms,”said Rep. Hoyle. “Their interpretation does not reflect the original intent of the gun safety law and we are respectfully asking them to reconsider their decision.” 

“As the historic Bipartisan Safer Communities Act continues to be implemented to save lives, I am committed to ensuring that the bill protects archery and hunter safety education programs,” said Rep. Thompson. “As a lifelong hunter, I understand the importance of proper firearm education to ensure that future generations of hunters learn about the responsibility of possessing a firearm. I commend Rep. Hoyle for her leadership on this important issue.” 

For decades, schools across the country have provided archery and hunter education classes with funding authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965.  

The original intent of the BSCA provision was to restrict federal ESEA funding for armed school resource officers and the arming of teachers, not to prohibit ESEA funding for archery and hunter safety classes for students.  

The letter strongly supports gun violence prevention efforts and points to the BSCA as a crucial tool in helping to make our schools and communities safer. However, the prohibition of federal funding for archery and hunter safety education programs has a negative impact on rural communities who rely on these programs. 

The letter is cosigned by Gabe Vasquez (D-NM), Hillary Scholten (D-MI), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR), Andrea Salinas (D-OR), Mary Peltola (D-AK), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), Wiley Nickel (D-NC), Steven Horsford (D-NV), Chris Pappas (D-NH), Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-WA), Susie Lee (D-NV), Valerie P. Foushee (D-NC), Jared Golden (D-ME), Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), and Kim Schrier (D-WA). 

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