Applications are now being accepted for 2013-14 Pennsylvania School Safety Grant Programs through the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Office for Safe Schools, according to Senate Majority Whip Pat Browne.
Through passage of Act 70 of 2013, the Pennsylvania legislature authorized $8.5 million in this year’s budget for these safe school initiatives. These grant programs – which are open to all 500 Pennsylvania school districts – are intended to fund programs that help schools address and prevent school violence.
“It is vital that the state legislature helps to provide resources to school districts so that they can adequately address current safety concerns and help prevent potential future school violence episodes,” Senator Browne said. “These grants offer funding to allow school districts to take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of students, teachers, administrators and anyone else who works in our schools. Having the training and being prepared is critical in managing and defusing any school violence incidents.”
One of the grant programs available is the Safe Schools Initiative Grant. Applications are now being accepted through the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) until Friday, December 6, 2013. The maximum individual grant will be $25,000.
This grant can be used to fund programs which address school violence, specifically: conflict resolution or dispute management; peer helpers programs; risk assessment or violence prevention curricula; classroom management; development of Student Codes of Conduct, institution of student, staff and visitor identification systems; and, many other safety initiatives.
Another grant that is available – also through PDE – is the School Police Officer and School Resource Officer Grant. These grants can be used to fund the training and compensation of school resource officers and school police officers. Applications for these grants are now available and must be submitted by November 22, 2013. The maximum individual grant will be $60,000 for a School Resource Officer and $40,000 for School Police Officer.
Priority for these grants will be given to those school entities that utilize 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. Local municipalities may also apply for grants for School Resource Officers on behalf of schools within their boundaries.
“I encourage schools districts to take advantage of these grant opportunities,” Senator Browne said. “Protecting our children and providing a safe environment in which they can learn is one of the most fundamental responsibilities we have as teachers, school administrators and legislators.”
Each grant must be submitted via the E-grant system. For additional information on these grants or to fill out an application, school districts can visit the PDE website.
School districts may also contact Senator Browne’s office with further questions or for assistance regarding these grants by calling 610-821-8468.