The Indiana Secured School Board has approved more than $19 million in matching state grant funds, marking a second consecutive year of record-breaking school safety investments. “Education is a Hoosier priority, and Indiana remains fully committed to ensuring the safety of our schools. I’m proud that continued funding through this grant program can meet the top safety needs of school districts and help parents, students and staff feel safe and secure each day,” Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb said. The $19.4 million in awards allows the Board to fully fund all eligible, top-priority projects identified by 418 schools in their applications to the Secured School Safety Grant program (SSSG).
In addition, the Board fully funded all school threat assessment projects, as well as eligible projects geared toward implementing health and wellness support services for parents and students. Schools have received notification that their top priority requests were fully funded for all eligible items. The General Assembly allocated $19 million to the grant fund for each of the past two years.
In Marshall County Argos Community School will receive $40,00 while Bremen Public Schools were granted $26,435 and the Culver Community School Corporation was awarded $100,000. The Plymouth Community School Corporation received $22,435 while Saint Michael School was granted $30,605 and Trition School Corporation was awarded $18,900.
The $19 million annual investments are the largest single year investments ever dedicated to safety in Hoosier schools. The SSSG fund is administered by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. Including the funds committed this year, the SSSG program will have distributed more than $91 million in state matching grants to schools since the program became law in 2013. All of these funds focus specifically on school safety. Visit the IDHS website for a full breakdown of SSSG awards. “Even with the changes brought by COVID-19, the Secured Schools Board continues to focus on school-safety initiatives in Indiana,” said Rusty Goodpaster, director of the Secured School Board. “The budgetary support provided by the state empowers schools to continue to build safe, supportive environments for their students.” The SSSG issues matching grants for eligible items and then schools match those funds at a certain level, either 25 percent, 50 percent or 100 percent.
The match requirement is based on average daily membership of the school district, the total amount of the project or what the request covers. Eligible items in the grant include funding for school resource officers (SROs) and law enforcement officers in schools; equipment and technology; active event warning systems (no matching requirement); firearms training for teachers and staff that choose to allow guns on school property; threat assessments and to implement a student and parent support services program. The Indiana School Safety Hub also provides schools with a wealth of resources, training opportunities and other information designed to give schools the tools they need to keep students and staff safe.