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Pennsylvania Awards School Safety Grants to Over 150 School Districts

11/16/2020

Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) today announced the recipients of more than $9 million in competitive 2020-2021 Safe Schools Targeted Grants. Grants are awarded to schools to prevent and reduce violent incidents, to purchase safety and security-related equipment, and to provide for the training and compensation of school resource and police officers.

“Although the learning environment has shifted for students, educators, and families, the importance of maintaining safe school communities has not changed,” Acting Education Secretary Noe Ortega said. “The Safe Schools Targeted Grant program provides schools with resources to create, support, and enhance programs that address the current needs of school communities, such as creating trauma-informed practices and developing equity and inclusion methods.”

PDE’s Office for Safe Schools offers four types of safety grants: equipment grants of up to $25,000; program grants of up to $20,000; School Police Officer (SPO) grants of up to $40,000; and School Resource Officer (SRO) grants of up to $60,000. Each of the grants aims to assist schools in:

  • Reducing unnecessary student disciplinary actions and promoting an environment of greater productivity, safety, and learning; and
  • Enhancing anti-violence efforts between schools and parents, local governments, law enforcement and community organizations.

This year more than $5.5 million will be awarded to public local education agencies (LEAs):

  • $2 million in equipment grants to 93 LEAs
  • $599,193 in program grants to 34 LEAs
  • $1.4 million in SPO grants to 35 LEAs
  • $1.5 million in SRO grants to 27 LEAs

In accordance with Act 18 of 2019, PDE is awarding $3.2 million to nonpublic schools, including:

  • $2.8 million in equipment grants to 142 schools
  • $388,560 in program grants to 36 schools

An additional $643,049 in Safe Schools Targeted Grants is earmarked for schools in the second year of an SPO or SRO grant.

For a list of grant recipients and their grant amounts, visit the Office for Safe Schools webpage on the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s website.

PDE’s program is separate from the School Safety and Security Grant program administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD).

Since 2015 the Wolf Administration has advanced school safety and security in several ways. Including:

  • Releasing an Equity and Inclusion Toolkit to aid schools in creating welcoming and equitable school environments;
  • Advanced trauma-informed practices in schools by hosting convenings to share best practices; 
  • Established the It’s On Us PA initiative to prevent sexual assault on college campuses; and
  • Created the Pennsylvania School Safety Task Force to hear from stakeholders statewide on their perspectives on keeping schools safe.

For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs please visit the Department of Education’s website at www.education.pa.gov or follow PDE on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest

MEDIA CONTACT: Kendall Alexander - 717-439-2973, or kenalexand@pa.gov

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