One By One, Public Schools Are Turning Down NRA-Funded Grants

Many schools are declining to receive funding from NRA for free programs.

The NRA has given out more than $7.3 million to fund school programs over the past few years. In fact, according to public tax record by the NRA, more than 500 school districts have been the benefactor of NRA funding since 2010. These dollars are funding programs like hunting safety courses, agriculture clubs, rifle teams, Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) and others. But now, some schools want nothing to do with it.

In the days since the Parkland shooting, Florida's Broward County school district became one of the first to decline the free cash for programs. Yesterday, Denver Public Schools followed suit.

Pressure from anti-gun groups has been intense for businesses and schools alike. Social media activists are calling for a boycott for many organizations if they are unwilling to sever ties with the NRA. Many, though, are confused by the move.

It's no secret that many school districts are short on cash. Programs across the country are being cut due to budget issues. It's bizarre, then, that schools would decline the support for their programs. Take Billy Townsend, for example. Townsend is a school board member at Florida's Polk County school district. His district's JROTC program has received $33,000 from the National Rifle Association to purchase air rifles for training.

"If the NRA wanted to provide air rifles for our ROTC folks in the future, I wouldn't have a problem with that," he said.

Other recipients of grants include 4-H clubs and the Boy Scouts or America. Combined, the two organizations have received over $16 million in funding support from the NRA since 2010.

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