Illinois House passes plan to put more social workers in schools

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A plan to replace armed security officers with unarmed social workers got a House OK with substantial changes.

The House voted 64-25 Friday to establish a grant program for schools who hire mental health professionals to keep calm in the hallways.

Police had objected to the idea because schools could only get money if they stopped funding police officers. Hillside Democratic Rep. Emanuel "Chris" Welch removed that part.

Republican Rep. Peter Breen of Lombard opposed the measure. He says schools should hire more police officers to combat an epidemic of school shootings.

Chicago Democratic Rep. Juliana Stratton countered that putting police officers in schools aren't the only way to keep kids safe.

The plan goes to the Senate.