Senator Paul Bailey announces over $150,000 in grants to improve school safety in White County
By Kim Swindell Wood | September 28, 2018 6:12 am
On Sept. 27, Senator Paul Bailey (R-Sparta) announced that White County Schools received $158,780 in state grants for White County schools to improve safety and security. The Tennessee General Assembly included $35 million in the 2018/2019 state budget for school safety, following recommendations from Gov. Bill Haslam’s School Safety Working Group, of which Bailey was a member.
“The safety of our schools is an important factor to a good learning environment for our students,” said Bailey. “I am pleased that this process allowed professionals in both the education and safety fields, along with elected officials to collaborate on the best way to address school safety needs. This new funding for school safety leads the way to make immediate and impactful security improvements in our schools.”
White County Schools received $45,370 in recurring funds and $113,410 in non-recurring funds to address perimeter control and access control as areas of need.
To apply for grant funding, local school officials partnered with the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, the Department of Education, and local law enforcement to complete safety assessments for school facilities and safety procedures. This was the first time the state led a comprehensive effort to determine the security needs at individual schools. Based on the findings following this assessment, all school districts were eligible to apply for two grants to receive funding for local safety and security needs.
Additionally, as a result of the working group recommendations, the Department of Safety and Homeland Security is working to secure a developer to complete a statewide school safety mobile application. The application will be designed for use by students, faculty and staff to anonymously report concerning or suspicious behavior to local law enforcement and school officials.
“I appreciate the work of local officials to secure these grants, and I look forward to continuing the conversation on ways to best improve the safety and security in our schools,” added Bailey.