Ohio giving another $50 million for school safety

(The Center Square) – Ohio will add another $50 million to a growing total of state money for security upgrades at more than 700 schools across the state.

The $57.8 million rounds out a $100 million increase Gov. Mike DeWine and the General Assembly agreed upon for school safety projects. The final round of funding is spread among 708 schools. Overall, 1,868 public and charter schools received money from the K-12 School Safety Grant Program over the past few months.

“We are being proactive in keeping our schools safe in Ohio. Student and staff safety is paramount,” DeWine said. “These safety grants are helping schools create environments that are secure and welcoming for teachers and their students.”

The program gives systems money to help schools with physical security expenses, such as new security cameras, public address systems, automatic door locks, visitor badging systems and exterior lighting.

The Ohio School Safety Center was created in 2019 to help schools, colleges and universities and law enforcement agencies to prevent, prepare for and respond to threats and acts of violence, including self-harm, through a solutions-based approach, according to a news release.

As previously reported by The Center Square, DeWine announced $5 million last week for safety at state colleges and universities.

It was all part of a school safety effort that gave money to public K-12 schools, charter nonpublic schools, preschools nonprofits and religious institutions. Also, the Ohio School Safety Working Group, consisting of experts in the fields of public safety, education, mental health, emergency management and others. The group meets quarterly to discuss school safety issues, trends, and local needs.

Also, the Student Wellness Success Fund, a $1.2 billion state investment, was worked into the new school funding formula signed into law last summer. That program has funded the launch of 1,300 mental health programs and trained 6,500 educators and school professionals, according to the release.

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