The districts, which serve about 300,000 students, require federal intervention to close off one branch of the school-to-prison pipeline, the groups say.
The number of guns on campus had been dropping since the 2005-06 school year, but they began to climb again during the 2009-10 school year.
The quality of the survey is especially critical in New York, where scores from the survey are one of the only non-academic indicators used in annual school report cards.
Without U.S. Department of Agriculture action this month, food sold in school vending machines and on a la carte lunch lines could remain unregulated until the 2015-16 school year.
Schools would be led through a process that would help determine what strategies would work best in their environment to fundamentally change students' bullying behavior.
The bill would specifically protect students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender from bullying, harassment, intimidation, or violence at school.
The new Democratic bill, though facing political difficulties, would mark a big step forward for collecting data on school climate.
A group of Ohio teenagers has started teaching their peers about safe sex, in the hopes that listening to fellow youths is easier than listening to teachers.
Mr. Lautenberg died early Monday of complications from viral pneumonia. He was 89.