(HARRISBURG) – Today twenty-seven local school districts who educate children from the 25th Senatorial District have been awarded state grants to help improve student safety through a new program strongly supported by Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25).
Scarnati explained that The School Safety and Security Grant Program was created by the legislature 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.
“Our goal with the new school safety program was to provide schools with the opportunity to apply for grants that can help improve student safety and reduce school violence,” Scarnati said. “It is extremely important that we ensure local control to allow each school district to evaluate its needs and vulnerabilities and apply for funding to shore up any weaknesses that exist.”
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.
Each local school district that applied through the program was awarded a grant of $25,000. Local grant recipients include:
- Cameron County School District
- Clarion-Limestone Area School District
- DuBois Area School District
- West Branch Area School District
- Keystone Central School District
- Johnsonburg Area School District
- Ridgway Area School District
- Saint Marys Area School District
- Forest Area School District
- Brockway Area School District
- Brookville Area School District
- Punxsutawney Area School District
- Jersey Shore Area School District
- Bradford Area School District
- Kane Area School District
- Otto-Eldred School District
- Port Allegany School District
- Smethport Area School District
- Austin Area School District
- Coudersport Area School District
- Galeton Area School District
- Northern Potter School District
- Oswayo Valley School District
- Canton Area School District
- Northern Tioga School District
- Southern Tioga School District
- Wellsboro Area School District
Scarnati explained that a total of 496 grants were approved today for schools across the state. The grants being awarded through this round are the meritorious application grants, which are the first part of the program’s grant awards. The meritorious application was only for school districts making a meritorious application to receive a minimum grant allocation of $25,000. The second round of competitive application grants for school districts, intermediate units, area vocational-technical schools, charter schools and private residential rehabilitative institutions seeking additional funding beyond their meritorious grants will be announced at a later time.
“Teachers cannot teach and children cannot learn in an environment where they don’t feel safe,” Scarnati stated. “I am pleased that this year we created the new School Safety and Security Grant Program, as well as expanded the existing School Safety Program through the Department of Education. This is an issue of tremendous importance to me and be assured that I will continue to be a strong voice for helping provide needed resources to our schools to increase safety initiatives in the future.”
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, the Senator noted.
More information on school safety measures under consideration in the General Assembly is available online at https://www.pasenategop.com/school-safety/.
MEDIA CONTACT: Kate Flessner firstname.lastname@example.org (717) 787-7084