HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera today announced that $6.5 million in competitive grants have been awarded for the training and compensation of school resource officers and school police officers, and to prevent and reduce violent incidents through programs and security equipment. "Parents must feel safe sending their children to school each day, and students must feel supported academically, physically, and emotionally to succeed," said Sec. Rivera. "This targeted funding will allow Pennsylvania's schools to take the steps they need to provide not just a high-quality education to students, but also a safe and healthy environment conducive to learning." The focus of the Safe Schools Initiative Targeted Grant program is to assist schools in:
Reducing unnecessary student disciplinary actions and promoting an environment of greater productivity, safety and learning;
Enhancing antiviolence efforts between schools and parents, local governments, law enforcement and community organizations.
To provide funding for the training and compensation of school resource officers and school police officers, $3.9 million was awarded to 32 school entities, municipalities and police departments for the first year through the Safe Schools Targeted Grant and 39 school entities, municipalities and police departments in their second year of the grant. First year applicants were eligible for a maximum individual grant of $60,000 for a school resource officer and $40,000 for a school police officer. Second year grantees received $30,000 for a school resource officer and $20,000 for a school police officer. To establish and implement programs to prevent and reduce violent incidents and to procure security/safety-related equipment, $2.6 million was awarded to 125 public school entities through the Safe Schools Targeted Grant. Public school entities were eligible to receive up to $25,000 to fund programs or security-related equipment, including student, staff and visitor identification systems; metal detectors; protective lighting; surveillance equipment; special emergency communications equipment; electronic locksets; deadbolts and theft control devices; and training in the use of the security-related technology. For a list of awardees and their award amounts, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Education's website. Media Contact:Nicole Reigelman, (717) 783-9802