School leaders should carefully read the grant announcement and application instructions before submitting a request for school safety funds. In order to receive funding, school districts must comply with certain conditions set out in those instructions.
Here are some of the key conditions school leaders should be aware of:
- Grant funds cannot be used to pay for school resource officers or other safety personnel. Indeed, grant funds cannot be used to pay any personnel costs. Grant funds also cannot be used for weapons or body armor, bulletproof glass, shatter resistant film for exterior classroom windows, door barricade devices that are not ADA or fire code compliant or vehicles. (For a full list of ineligible expenditures, see page 12 of the grant announcement.)
- Grant funds must be used to supplement existing expenditures or budgeted funds and cannot be used to continue existing projects or supplant existing or budgeted funds.
- In order to receive grant funding school districts must provide all full-time teachers, aides, counselors and administrators with a minimum of three (3) hours combined training in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Trauma Informed Care/Trauma Sensitive Schools before the end of he 2018-19 school year or demonstrate that school staff has already received such training
- Grant applicants must certify that each school has written visitor protocols and must also certify that:
a) all entrances to the school will be locked during the school day; and
b) a designated staff member will be present to visually screen everyone entering the school through an unlocked point of access whenever an exterior door is unlocked before, during or after the school day.
- Grant applicants will also be required to partner with law enforcement agencies to ensure that the proposed expenditures, visitor protocols and school safety plans will be effective in providing a safe school environment.
- School districts must also attach letters of support form all of the local law enforcement agencies (police departments and sheriff’s offices that have jurisdiction over the district’s school facilities). These letters must indicate that:
a) the agency was consulted regarding the proposed projects and has no objections; and
b) that the district consulted with the agency as to whether any improvements to entry door security practices and procedures could be implemented immediately.
- Grant applicants must also demonstrate that they have been fiscally responsible and have attempted to contain the costs of grant funded security improvements. (See item 6 on page 7 of the grant announcement.)
- Schools receiving grant funds for Primary Security projects must make those improvements as soon as possible. No funds for Advanced Security Improvements will be provided until grant funded Primary Security projects are completed.