HARRISBURG – Applications are now being accepted for Pennsylvania School Safety Grants, according to Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25).
“Earlier this year, through passage of Act 70, we took an important step to expand and enhance the safe schools grant program through The Office of Safe Schools,” Scarnati stated. “I am very pleased the application period for 2013-2014 grants has now been opened by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is now accepting applications for the 2013-14 Grant Program for School Resource Officers, School Police Officers and School Safety Initiatives. Applications and full guidelines can be accessed online on the PDE Website.
School Resource Officer/School Police Officer Competitive Grant
- Application submission window is from October 21, 2013 to November 22, 2013.
- Maximum individual grant will be $60,000 for a School Resource Officer and $40,000 for a School Police Officer.
- Priority will be given to those school entities and municipalities that use school resource officers or school police officers who have completed additional training recommended by the department relating to interaction with all children and adolescents within a school setting.
The Safe School Initiative Competitive Grant
- Application submission window is from October 21, 2013 to December 6, 2013.
- Maximum individual grant will be $25,000.
- This grant can be used to fund programs which address school violence, such as comprehensive district-wide school safety initiatives, for the purchase of security-related technology, for institution of student, staff and visitor identification systems and numerous other safety initiatives.
Scarnati, who spearheaded the effort to secure $8.5 million in this year’s budget for funding of school safety initiatives, explained that the monies will help provide grants to Pennsylvania schools and municipalities to address the issue of school violence and improve school safety.
“The Safe Schools Grant program will now be able to provide school districts and municipalities across our state with the resources that they need to guarantee the safety of our schools,” Scarnati said. “Protecting our children is an issue of importance for every school district, urban, suburban and rural.”
Schools who receive grants will be able to utilize the monies to enhance violence prevention programs and emergency preparedness initiatives, as well as to employ School Resource Officers or School Police Officers. PDE’s Safe Schools Office will review applications and allocate funds through a competitive grant process.
According to Scarnati, all 500 school districts across Pennsylvania are eligible to apply for the school safety grants. Local municipalities are also able to apply for grants for School Resource Officers on behalf of public and private schools within their jurisdiction.
“Ensuring the greatest level of safety possible at our schools is a core responsibility of government,” Scarnati said. “Teachers cannot teach and children cannot learn in an environment where they don’t feel safe. Through this grant program each school district across our Commonwealth will be able to apply for the funding they need to make sure our schools are safe and secure.”