The grants being awarded today are for the Safe School Initiatives Program. The funding will be used by educational institutions to establish and implement plans to prevent and reduce incidents of violence. Each of the schools selected in the 25th Senatorial District will receive the maximum grant award of $25,000.
“Ensuring that students and teachers feel safe in their learning environments is a crucial part of helping children to learn and succeed,” Scarnati stated. “I am very pleased that seven area schools have been selected to receive this grant funding. Across Pennsylvania each school’s safety needs are unique, which this program recognizes by allowing local school officials to determine how best to use the grants to protect our children.”
Scarnati explained that last year he introduced legislation to expand and enhance the safe schools grant program within PDE, partly in response to the tragic shooting which occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in December of 2012. As a result of Scarnati’s leadership, funding allocated for Safe Schools Initiatives increased from $500,000 to $2.6 million. 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.
The following Schools in the 25th Senatorial District will receive the Safe Schools Targeted Grants:
• Brockway Area School District – Jefferson County
• Brookville Area School District – Jefferson County
• Clearfield County Career and Technology Center – Clearfield County
• DuBois Area School District – Clearfield County
• Otto-Eldred School District – McKean County
• Saint Marys Area School District – Elk County
• Smethport Area School District – McKean County
Scarnati noted that the program is administered by PDE through The Office of Safe Schools. Across Pennsylvania a total of $2.6 million was awarded to 110 public schools throughout this round of funding. This latest announcement completes the School Safety Grant Program awards for 2013-2014. The other portion of school safety grants for School Resource Officer (SRO)/School Police Officer (SPO) funding was announced last month.
“Providing the greatest level of security possible at our schools is something that parents, teachers and children expect and deserve,” Scarnati stated. “As we begin to work through Pennsylvania’s annual state budget process for the upcoming fiscal year, I will continue to be a chief advocate for the School Safety Grant Program. Our children are our future and keeping them safe is of the greatest importance.”