Governor Pence Announces Grant Funding to go Toward Improving School Safety


Published 06/05 2014 02:26PM

Updated 06/05 2014 02:41PM

Governor Mike Pence announcing that more than $9 million dollars in grant funding will go toward improving school safety in the Hoosier State.

The funds are awarded to more than 250 Indiana schools and school corporations.  WFFT's Isabelle Moller spoke with a local school corporation that will receive funds to improve safety.

The Secured School Safety Grant Program is matching what schools have already put up in an effort to improve the safety of schools across the state.

"The students aren't going to learn unless they are in a safe environment."

Jon Bennett, Assistant Superintendent for Business and Classified Starr says the Secured School Safety Grant is giving the Huntington County Community School Corporation just what they need to ensure the students and staff stay safe.

"Makes schools more secure, you never know who might try to enter your building without permission."

Indiana Governor Mike Pence announced that $9 million dollars will be awarded to schools across the state who applied for this grant.  These grants can be applied to:
Conducting a threat assessment
Purchasing equipment to restrict access to the school
Expediting the notification of first responders
Employing a school resource officer.

Bennett explains how Huntington County Community Schools will use the money.

"We wrote in to the grant to increase the entrance way at Huntington North High School so visitors would have 2 phase process they would have to go through to access the building."

Safety has been an ongoing project for the district.

"We put cameras and buzzer systems in every school."

Bennett speculates, "A lot of this came as a result of Sandy Hook's incident.  I think the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School obviously had a big impact and I think that's when the grant started."

The grant, funded by taxes, is a great help in revenue to what is already being done in several schools but Bennett explains, "if we have to use our regular funds, we'll do that.  This is just an extra boost."

At Huntington North High School, the money will also be used to have shatter proof tinted windows in case an unwanted visitor were to attempt to shoot through the glass.

Bennett told WFFT that this is the second year of this grant and in order to get the grant, school corporations were required to form a safety committee if one was already not in place.

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