Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that an additional 75 school districts, covering 435 schools, will receive funds as part of the School Security Grant Program, part of the Gun Violence Prevention and Children's Safety Act. An additional $16 million in state funding will be used to reimburse municipalities for a portion of the costs associated security infrastructure improvements made in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
"This allows us to continue to get resources out to the cities and towns that have begun work to modernize their security infrastructure and ramp up safety procedures at school buildings in the wake of the horrific events on December 14th," said Governor Malloy. "We will never be able to prevent every random act of violence, but we can take the steps necessary to make sure that our children and our teachers are as safe as possible. This funding allows an additional 435 schools to implement modern security measures that will make schools safer."
With these additional funds, a total of $21 million has now been allocated to the school security grant program. Governor Malloy was able to secure an additional $6 million in state bond funds to enable all schools that applied in round one to be funded. This brings the total school districts funded in round one to 111, covering 604 schools. In September, Governor Malloy announced that $5 million in state funding would support school security projects at 169 schools.
"So many of our cities and towns have decided that security must be stepped up at their schools, and I believe state government has an obligation to assist them in doing that," Lt. Governor Wyman said. "This funding is an investment that will help protect our children and give them the safe learning environment they deserve."
The awards, administered by the Department of Emergency Services (DESPP) and Public Protection in consultation with the Department of Education (SDE) and the Department of Construction Services (DCS), were based on a school security assessment survey conducted by each local school district that applied. Each municipality will be reimbursed between 20 and 80 percent taken into account factors such as municipality's grand list and overall number of need based students, as defined in subdivision (26) of section 10-262f of the Connecticut General Statutes.
"Public Safety is a core function of our government, especially when it comes to our children's safety and security," DESPP Commissioner Reuben F. Bradford said. "These additional funds show the commitment and investment Governor Malloy has made to our children and educators and is another vital step in strengthening the infrastructure of our schools, while maintaining a welcoming learning environment."
"Providing safe learning environments for students and educators is a collective responsibility shared by the state, municipalities, local districts and the community. These grants provide critical assistance to local towns and school districts so that they can accelerate forward with plans to modernize building security while maintaining an environment conducive to teaching and learning," SDE Commissioner Stefan Pryor said. "We are grateful to the Governor, the General Assembly, and our partner state agencies for continuing to recognize the importance of this aid to enhancing the safety of our schools."
DESPP received applications for proposed infrastructure projects, consisting of the installation of surveillance cameras, bullet proof glass, electric locks, buzzer and card entry systems, and panic alarms. A future round of funding will be announced soon.