Dozens of Wisconsin schools and school districts have been awarded $3.5 million in school safety grants through the Wisconsin Department of Justice School Safety Grant program.
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel announced Monday a list of 52 schools and school districts that have been awarded the next round of grants which will be spent on building safety improvements, faculty training and mental health resources, reports The News Observer.
Earlier this year, a total of $100 million in school safety improvement grants was created by a law signed by Governor Scott Walker.
“Momentum to improve school safety, training, and law enforcement collaboration continues with today’s school safety grant awards,” said Schimel. “The public safety professionals at DOJ, in conjunction with dozens of educational and mental health response professionals, established a meaningful way to improve school safety by strengthening response to mental health crises and improving the physical safety of school buildings.”
The grants were announced at Christ King School in Wauwatosa, one of the schools that were awarded the grant money.
“We immediately knew we wanted to apply because safety measures can never be fully implemented with a school budget,” said Principal Gina Brown. “With that money, we will install shatterproof glass, security cameras and most importantly — training and education for our teachers and staff.”
A total of 735 public schools and school districts have requested funding, according to Schimel.
The grant money is split up into the Primary School Safety Grant and the Advanced School Safety Grant, according to the press release. The Primary School Safety Grant focuses on baseline physical improvements, such as adding door locks and hardening school entryways.
The Advanced School Security Grants are awarded to schools that have met minimum security thresholds. All staff members must also complete a minimum of three hours combined training in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and Trauma-Informed Care/Trauma Sensitive Schools (TIC/TSS) before the end of the 2018-2019 school year.
“Schools are really clamoring for more training opportunities, and we’re going to focus on using some of that money to bring training to the schools,” said Schimel.
Schools are also required to create a safety plan with local police to be eligible to receive grant money.
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