Democratic State Senator Marty Block says about 70 percent of California classrooms have locks that can be secured from the inside. But he says in some older buildings, the teacher must go outside the room to lock the door. Block says that puts the teacher and students at increased risk.
Block: "It only costs about 30-60 dollars per lock to make this change, so it's a small price to pay to keep children safe."
Block says many districts have passed school construction bonds that could pay for the new locks, but:
Block: "When those dollars aren't available, I'm committed to finding the money here in the state legislature - out of the state general fund if need be."
Block's bill would require the new locks by 2015. Republican Assemblymember Kristen Olsen has introduced a related bill that would require panic buttons in classrooms, cafeterias and gyms that would alert local law enforcement.