Many Miss. Districts Pass on Security Grants

JACKSON, Miss. — As many as two-thirds of Mississippi’s public schools did not apply for security grants awarded by the state.

In response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the state legislature set aside $5 million for the Mississippi Community Oriented Policing Services in School grant program. The program would contribute $10,000 apiece for armed school resource officers (SROs), Associated Press reports.

Last month, the state Department of Education awarded 157 grants ($1.57 million) across 50 districts; however, four of the largest school districts in the state did not apply for the program. Some of the reasons that some districts did not apply for the grants include:

  • Current officers didn’t fulfill the nine district roles that the grant program required
  • The 13-page application was too much paperwork
  • Districts did not want to disturb current arrangements with local law enforcement agencies
  • Districts did not want officers in classroom roles

The state Education Department will seek another round of applications to award money in January. The department is also considering seeking legislative authorization to increase the grant to $20,000 to pay a larger share of an officer’s salary.

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