HARRISBURG — Sen. Michele Brooks is encouraging local schools to apply now to receive funding through a new grant program dedicated to improving school safety.
The new School Safety and Security Grant Program will provide approximately $52.5 million in grants to school districts, intermediate units, area vocational-technical schools, charter schools and private residential rehabilitative institutions for a wide variety of projects to improve school safety.
Eligible uses include: hiring school security officers; purchasing security-related technology; completing safety and security assessments; implementing violence prevention curricula; offering counseling services for students; and, other programs and services to protect our students and staff.
In order to be eligible to receive a grant through the new program, school entities must submit an application no later than October 12, 2018. Applications may be revised by the applicants at a later date, but applications must be submitted by October 12 in order for a school entity to be considered for a grant.
“With school safety remaining a priority for us all, I worked with my colleagues to ensure flexibility in funding, so school districts can use this funding for their own individual, specific school district needs,” Brooks said. “A one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter approach does not work.”
Eligible uses of grants include:
- safety and security assessments that meet best practices criteria.
- conflict resolution or dispute management.
- schoolwide positive behavior support.
- school-based diversion programs.
- peer helper programs.
- risk assessment and violence prevention curricula.
- classroom management.
- student codes of conduct.
- training to undertake a districtwide assessment of risk factors.
- development and implementation of research-based violence prevention programs.
- districtwide school safety, emergency preparedness and all-hazards plans.
- security planning and purchase of security-related technology.
- institution of student, staff and visitor identification systems.
- provision of specialized staff and student training programs.
- counseling services for students.
- a system for the management of student discipline.
- staff training programs in the use of positive behavior supports, de-escalation techniques and appropriate responses to student behavior that may require immediate intervention.
- costs associated with the training and compensation of school resource officers and school police officers.
- costs associated with the training and compensation of certified counselors, social workers, and school psychologists.
- administration of evidence-based screenings for adverse childhood experiences.
- trauma-informed approaches to education.
- programs designed to reduce community violence.
The new program was created as part of a comprehensive school safety bill that was signed into law in June. More information on school safety measures under consideration in the General Assembly is available online at https://www.pasenategop.com/school-safety/.