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Senator Scarnati Announces School Safety Grants
January 23, 2014
Four schools in the 25th Senatorial District have been selected to receive Pennsylvania school safety grants, according to Senator Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson).
The grant program was created through legislation Scarnati authored in response to the tragic shooting which occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in December of 2012.
The initiative is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). This is the funding being awarded by The Office of Safe Schools for the 2013-2014 grant period.
The grants announced today are for the School Resource Officer (SRO)/School Police Officer (SPO) Competitive Grant. The second portion of the grants for The Safe School Initiatives will be announced later this year.
“I am very pleased that four of our local schools have been selected to receive funding for School Resource Officers and School Police Officers,” Scarnati stated. “These trained officers provide an invaluable contribution to their schools, offering far more than just protection from physical harm. Such skilled professionals also play a central role in creating a safer environment at academic institutions, by engaging students and preventing bullying.”
The following Schools in the 25th Senatorial District will receive the SRO/SPO Grants:
- Cameron County School District – $60,000 for SRO
- Jefferson-DuBois AVTS – $40,000 for SPO
- Saint Marys Area School District – $55,280 for SRO
- Keystone Central School District – $25,150 for SPO
Scarnati explained that last year he introduced legislation to expand and enhance the safe schools grant program within PDE. That legislation, Senate Bill 10, was unanimously passed by the General Assembly and signed into law as Act 70 of 2013. Each school district across Pennsylvania was able to apply for the grants, to aid with the cost of providing an increased level of security at Pennsylvania schools.
Across the commonwealth a total of 62 School Districts, 2 Intermediate Units, 4 Career and Technical Schools, 1 Charter School and 12 Municipalities are being funded by the 2013-2014 SRO/SPO program.
“Recent acts of violence, in Pennsylvania and throughout the country, have shown that we clearly need to do everything within our ability to keep students and teachers safe in their learning environments,” Scarnati said. “These grants will provide financial assistance for School Resource Officers and School Police Officers while allowing for local decision making, in order to provide the greatest level of security possible at our schools.”