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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says federal school safety commission will issue 'best practices' by year's end

The commission was tasked with studying a laundry list of issues, including age restrictions for certain firearms purchases.
Image: Betsy DeVos
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaks with school children during a listening session before the arrival of U.S. first lady Melania Trump at the White House in Washington on April 9, 2018.Joshua Roberts / Reuters file

The Trump administration's commission on school safety, created in the wake of the Parkland massacre, will put forward a list of "best practices and findings" by the end of the year, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told House lawmakers on Tuesday.

The commission, chaired by DeVos, has been tasked with studying issues from age restrictions for certain firearm purchases and rating systems for violent entertainment to Obama-era guidance on discipline in schools.

It has met only twice: a formal organizational meeting on March 28 and a gathering of mass shooting survivors and their family members on May 17.

And it includes only four members, all Trump cabinet appointees: DeVos, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

"The tragedy at Santa Fe High School in Texas was only the most recent, devastating reminder that our nation must come together to address the underlying issues that create a culture of violence," DeVos said in her opening statement for lawmakers on Tuesday.

She stressed that the "primary responsibility for the physical security of schools rests with states and local communities" — but she made no mention of overhauling firearms laws or gun control.

An interim report is expected to be issued by the time children go back to school in the fall, and a full report will follow by the end of the year, an Education Department spokesman told NBC News.