Western Pa. schools receive $154,000 in safety-related grant funding
State Sen. Jim Brewster, D-Allegheny/Westmoreland, announced $154,000 in state grants on Thursday to improve safety and security in local schools.
“This funding will help establish safety programs, hire additional security personnel and purchase security-related equipment,” said Brewster, of McKeesport.
The statewide grants were announced today by the state Department of Education following a report issued by the recently-established Pennsylvania School Safety Task Force. Brewster was the first state lawmaker to call for such a statewide task force, which provides an encompassing review of school safety procedures and makes recommendations for improvements.
Local schools receiving grants include:McKeesport School District, $20,000, for a violence prevention program. The Plum, Baldwin-Whitehall, and Elizabeth-Forward school districts each received $30,000 to hire and train school security officers. Allegheny Township also received $30,000 to hire and train school security officers;
The Westinghouse Arts Academy received $14,000 for safety equipment.
Brewster said another round of grant funds will be coming from the new $60 million School Safety and Security Grant program he supported in this fiscal year’s state budget. Those grants will be administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD). The deadline for schools to apply for those grants is Oct. 12.
“Following the tragic school shooting in Florida last year, I am pleased to see that local schools are working to bolster school security and safety,” Brewster said. “It is imperative that we continue taking steps to provide a safe and positive learning environment for all students.”