Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced on Friday that $5 million is being made immediately available to municipalities in the first round of school security funding under the Competitive Grant Program — a component of the Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety Act signed on April 4, 2013. The grants will reimburse municipalities for a portion of the costs associated with making safety and security improvements in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Administered by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP), the Department of Education (SDE), and the Department of Construction Services (DCS), the funding will go to schools with the most need — buildings with little or no existing security infrastructure located in school districts that are struggling financially. Two additional rounds of funding, both $5 million, are expected in the next year.
In addition, U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced a $1.3 million Project School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) program grant to the Newtown Public School District to assist the community recover from the shootings. The grant will support Newtown’s behavioral and academic recovery programs, initiatives that include counseling, wellness activities, and training programs designed to assist families and school staff heal after the trauma.
The School Security Infrastructure Council, also formed under the new gun violence prevention legislation, is holding their first meeting this week. Their initial report outlining best practices in school safety and security is due January 2014 and will provide a framework for municipal reimbursable expenses.