Utah, Florida Announce New School Safety Grants
A $14 million school safety grant provides funding for Florida school districts and law enforcement to integrate maps into security software applications.
As the end of summer quickly approaches, states are offering increased school safety funding, including Utah and Florida.
Utah schools can now apply for $72 million in funding to “enhance basic physical safety and security” in schools, reports KSL News Radio. Utah State Board of Education School Safety Specialist Rhett Larsen met with Utah’s School Safety Task Force last week to discuss the funding, which comes from House Bill 61.
“There are schools in our state that don’t have working intercoms,” said Larsen. “There are schools that don’t have locks on interior doors or locks that work on interior doors.”
In order to apply, schools must complete a building safety assessment and each school must have a designated school safety specialist. The funding will then be prioritized for schools with fewer students. Schools can apply through Sept. 15 on the State Board’s website.
In Florida, schools can apply for funding for emergency response mapping tools under House Bill 301. The $14 million bill, which went into effect July 1, provides funding and mandates for school districts and law enforcement to integrate maps into their security software applications, according to WOKV.
The bill stipulates that the provided mapping data must meet certain minimum data requirements, be available in a digital format, and be compatible with the security software platforms used by the respective school, reports Yahoo Finance. A vendor selected by a district under the grant program is responsible for providing the data to the district, local law enforcement, and public safety agencies.
The silent panic alert application used most by schools throughout Florida, Raptor Alert, has integrated with Critical Response Group, a digital maps provider, according to a recent press release.
“Access to accurate, easy-to-use maps is a critical component to any emergency response,” said Gray Hall, CEO of Raptor Technologies. “CRG has been an innovative partner in creating high-resolution maps and has worked closely with Raptor to ensure their compatibility with Raptor Alert to meet the requirements of the grant.”
Looking for available school security funding in your state? SchoolSafety.gov’s grant finder tool lets school safety professionals narrow down available grants using different filters such as topic (e.g. bullying, targeted violence, threat assessments), award amount, and funding agency.
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