Senator Scarnati Announces School Safety Grants

(HARRISBURG) – Throughout Pennsylvania 114 schools and municipalities will receive grants totaling $3.9 million to increase school safety through the School Resource Officer/School Police Officer Competitive Grant program (SRO/SPO), according to Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25).

Created through legislation authored by Senator Scarnati and signed into law with the 2013-14 state budget, the grant program provides funding for schools to enhance security.

“Last year, through passage of Act 70, we took an important step to expand and enhance the safe schools grant program through The Office of Safe Schools,” Scarnati stated.  “I am very pleased that many school districts across our Commonwealth will have some additional help to ensure our teachers and children feel safe in their learning environments.”

Scarnati explained that schools and municipalities could receive up to $60,000 for a school resource officer and up to $40,000 for a school police officer for the first year.  For the second year they are eligible to receive a second grant for 50 percent of their first year’s grant award.

“We clearly need to do everything within our ability to keep students and teachers safe in their learning environments,” Scarnati said.  “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.”

According to Scarnati, all 500 school districts across Pennsylvania were eligible to apply for the school safety grants.  In addition, private schools were able to apply for grants through an approved third-party vendor.   Local municipalities were also able to apply for grants for School Resource Officers on behalf of public and private schools within their jurisdiction.

“Teachers cannot teach and children cannot learn in an environment where they don’t feel safe,” Scarnati stated.  “Expansion of this program has been a tremendous success and in the coming legislative session, be assured that I will continue to be a strong voice for helping provide needed resources to our schools to increase safety initiatives.”

More information regarding the program and a full list of grantees and award amounts can be accessed by visiting www.education.state.pa.us and clicking on the “2014-15 SPO/SRO Grant Awards”.

CONTACT:

Casey Long clong@pasen.gov
717-787-7084