Before Sandy Hook Conn. Lawmakers Cut School Safety Funding Program
HARTFORD, Conn. — Fewer than three years before the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the state of Connecticut scrapped its school safety funding program due to a growing budget deficit.
The state launched the S.A.F.E. schools grant program, a $10 million response to the Virginia Tech massacre, in 2007. The program, administered by the state’s Homeland Security department, required local school districts to provide funding while applying for matching funds from the state, The Hartford Courant reports. However, by 2009, then-Gov. M. Jodi Rell sought to eliminate the program as the budget crisis loomed.
Senator Pro Tempore Donald Williams, who originally proposed the gran, fought to keep $1.7 million in place that went to schools in Killingly, Mansfield and Putnam. Before the program was abolished, the city of Newtown was one of the last schools to receive funds in 2009.
Newtown received $16,445 from the state to perform security upgrades to its local high school, including a security kiosk in the driveway to develop a stop zone for visitors and students to check in, an access control system and two-way communications equipment. The city also used the grant to install a buzzer and intercom system at several schools including Sandy Hook.