Rep. Tina Pickett (Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) and Rep. Fritz (Susquehanna/Wayne) announced yesterday that area school districts were awarded state grants this week as a part of a state-funded initiative to help these school districts improve student safety. They include 11 that comprise the 110th District and eight in the 111th District, each of which will receive $25,000 for school safety projects.
School districts receiving the grants include Athens, Blue Ridge, Canton, Elk Lake, Forest City, Montrose, Mountain View, Northeast Bradford, Sayre, Sullivan County, Susquehanna Community, Towanda, Troy, and Wyalusing.
“I’m pleased to see that our local school officials submitted applications for this grant program, which we created as part of the 2018-19 state budget,” said Pickett. “School safety is one of the most critical issues our educators and our communities face, and we want to ensure that schools have the ability to fund projects which will meet their specific needs.”
“As a Legislature, one of our top priorities is the protection and safety of children in the Commonwealth which is why we created this School Safety and Security Grant Program,” Fritz concurred. “This program makes it possible for school districts to afford extra security equipment and develop necessary safety precautions to make sure they can continue to keep their students protected and provide a safe learning environment.”
The School Safety and Security Grant Program was created by lawmakers earlier this year to provide 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. This round of funding was designated for public school districts, with a second planned round delivering funds for vocational-technical schools, charters and others.
Eligible uses for the grants include hiring school security officers, purchasing security-related technology, completing safety and security assessments, implementing violence prevention curricula, offering counseling services for students, and creating other programs to protect students.
The new program was created as part of a comprehensive school safety bill that was signed into law in June. More than $60 million in new funding was dedicated in the current year’s budget to improve school safety.