DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa.– The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) today announced the recipients of $7.2 million in competitive 2019-2020 Safe Schools Targeted Grants. Grants are awarded to schools to prevent and reduce violent incidents, to purchase safety and security-related equipment, and to provide for the training and compensation of school resource and police officers.
“Students perform their best when they feel safe and secure,” Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera said. “The Safe Schools Targeted Grant program provides school leaders with options when determining which safety tools work best for their own school communities.”
PDE’s Office for Safe Schools offers four types of safety grants: equipment grants of up to $25,000; program grants of up to $20,000; School Police Officer (SPO) grants of up to $40,000; and School Resource Officer (SRO) grants of up to $60,000. Each of the grants aims to assist schools in:
- Reducing unnecessary student disciplinary actions and promoting an environment of greater productivity, safety, and learning; and
- Enhancing anti-violence efforts between schools and parents, local governments, law enforcement and community organizations.
This year more than $4 million will be awarded to public local education agencies (LEAs):
- $1.75 million in equipment grants to 78 LEAs
- $1 million in program grants to 62 LEAs
- $583,000 in SPO grants to 16 LEAs
- $742,000 in SRO grants to 14 LEAs
In accordance with Act 18 of 2019, this year PDE is awarding $3.2 million to nonpublic schools, including:
- $2.75 million in equipment grants to 128 schools
- $446,000 in program grants to 31 schools
An additional $2.2 million in Safe Schools Targeted Grants is earmarked for schools in the second year of an SPO or SRO grant.
PDE’s program is separate from the School Safety and Security Grant program administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD). That grant program is open until November 4, 2019.
Since 2015 the Wolf Administration has advanced school safety and security in several ways. Including:
- Releasing an Equity and Inclusion Toolkit to aid schools in creating welcoming and equitable school environments;
- Advanced trauma-informed practices in schools by hosting convenings to share best practices;
- Established the It’s On Us PA initiative to prevent sexual assault on college campuses; and
- Created the Pennsylvania School Safety Task Force to hear from stakeholders statewide on their perspectives on keeping schools safe.
SOURCE: Department of Education