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Indiana allocates more than $19M to school safety

Indiana allocates more than $19M to school safety Indiana allocates more than $19M to school safety

The Indiana Secured School Safety Board recently approved more than $19 million in matching state grant funds, marking a third consecutive year of record-breaking school safety investments.

“Hoosier students and staff should be able to go to school with the confidence and comfort of knowing they are safe and protected from harm,” said Gov. Eric J. Holcomb. “This program represents the state’s commitment to that mission.

“With help from the General Assembly, we are able to support every school that applied with initiatives they have identified to make their schools safer,” he added.

The $19,058,808 million in awards allows the board to fully fund all eligible, top-priority projects identified by 392 schools in their applications to the Secured School Safety Grant program. Each applicant this year received either full or partial funding once award determinations were made.

Schools have received notification that their top priority requests were fully funded for all eligible items. The General Assembly allocated $19 million to the grant fund for each of the past three years.

“The Secured School Board is proud to maintain strong support for school safety, despite the challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic,” said Rusty Goodpaster, director of the Secured School Safety Board. “This commitment identifies school safety as a top priority in Indiana, and these funds will have a direct impact on all staff and students across the state.”

The Secured School Fund is administered by the Indiana Dept. of Homeland Security. Including the funds committed this year, the SSSG program will have distributed more than $110 million in state matching grants to schools since the program became law in 2013. All of these funds focus specifically on school safety. Visit the Indiana Dept. of Homeland Security website for a full breakdown of SSSG awards.

The SSSG issues matching grants for eligible items and then schools match those funds at a certain level, either 25%, 50% or 100%. The match requirement is based on average daily membership of the school district, the total amount of the project or what the request covers.

Eligible items in the grant include funding for school resource officers and law enforcement officers in schools; equipment and technology; active event warning systems (no matching requirement); firearms training for teachers and staff that choose to allow guns on school property; threat assessments; and to implement a student and parent support services program.

The allocation of funds for FY22 include:

$13,440.1127.88 for school resource officers/law enforcement officers;

$4,926,399.15 for equipment;

$642,369.22 for student and parent support services programs;

$43,678.47 for active event warning services; and

$6,233.33 for training.

As of July 1, 2021, schools were required to have a completed threat assessment and a memorandum of understanding in place with a community mental health center (or employ a certified, licensed mental health professional) to be eligible for funding.

The Indiana School Safety Hub also provides schools with a wealth of resources, training opportunities and other information designed to give schools the tools they need to keep students and staff safe.