8 state school safety grants districts should know about

As districts transition back to in-person learning, the need for school safety has never been greater


The foundation of every state is the education of its youth. Diogenes’ wisdom from 2,346 years ago has never been truer.

A 2020 RAND Corporation COVID survey found “66% of teachers…say their students are less prepared for grade-level work now compared to this point last year.” Governors from many states are requiring schools to reopen immediately. I live in Arizona and our governor ordered all school-age children back to the classroom by March 15, 2021. Currently, the transition from online class to in-person classrooms is moving at rapid speeds. Children will need time to readjust for in-person school, and stress will be elevated. The need for school safety has never been greater. Is your school ready to provide a safe and secure environment for students?

State school safety grants are an opportunity for K-12 schools to receive grant monies to protect students, staff, and their schools. Research your state specific guidelines.

  1. School Safety Grant (Michigan): Michigan State Police received $10 million to “award and administer competitive grants to public schools.” Schools can apply for technology and equipment to ensure safety of students, staff and school buildings. Individual schools can apply for $50K and school districts may apply for $250K. Do not delay as grant packages are due March 27, 2021.
  2. School Safety and Security Grant Program (Ohio): PK-12 schools can apply for $40K to purchase equipment that improves the safety and security of students, staff and facilities. Eligible school safety equipment are vehicle crash barriers (bollards) in front of entrances; modifications of building/facility entrances to restrict access; secured keycard systems, metal detectors, and security cameras. Apply by March 31, 2021.
  3. Texas Juvenile Justice & Truancy Prevention Grant Program: This is a proactive grant designed to “prevent security threats in advance” for at-risk youth. Intervention, truancy prevention, and mental health help “geared towards school safety will be given priority.” Application due by February 11, 2022.
  4. School Safety and Security Grant Program (Pennsylvania): School districts may apply for immediate funding through the Emergency School Health and Safety Grants for the 2020-2021 school year. Grant monies will be awarded to 500 school districts to improve the health and safety needs of students and staff. Deadline to apply is January 6, 2021.
  5. Mississippi Community Oriented Policing Services in Schools (MCOPS) Grant: K-12 schools may apply to “increase the number of School Resource Officers (SROs).” SROs enhance community policing, provide a link from police departments directly to school administrators, conduct risk assessments, and develop school safety plans. March 31, 2022 is the deadline.
  6. School Safety Grants (Minnesota): Another proactive grant provides school districts up to $500 thousand to help prevent violence and harden facilities. Grant funds may be used to “predesign, design, construct, furnish, and equip school facilities and includes renovating and expanding existing buildings.” The grants must be used to complete projects that do not currently have funding. Apply by August 28, 2022.
  7. School Safety and Security Grant Program (Vermont): K-12 schools can apply for $25 thousand to enhance or install security and safety equipment that enhances school safety. Note: schools are required to provide 25% matching funds to the grant amount. Applications due September 26, 2021.
  8. Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) (Texas): School districts may apply for a minimum of $10 thousand for safety and supply equipment, technical assistance training, hiring personnel, contractual support, and information systems. Funds must be used in these purpose areas: law enforcement programs; prosecution programs; crime prevention programs; and assessment and evaluation programs. Note: Texas is the only state to authorize school districts to apply for JAG.

Under certain circumstances, state entitlement grants can be used for school safety. Research and call your state education specialist for specifics. These formula grants include:

  • Title I (Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged)
  • Title II-A (Effective Teachers & Leaders)
  • Title III (Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient and Immigrant Students)
  • Title IV-A (Student Support & Academic Enrichment)
  • RLIS (Rural and Low-Income School Program)
  • IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) funds the excess costs of providing special education and related services to children with disabilities.

Helpful hint: you can use various grant specific sites such as grantfinder.com when researching school safety grants. If you do not have access to a grant search engine, use your favorite search engine such as Google. Use broad words at first; then narrow your search with specific words.

“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world.” – Malala Yousafzai

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