Senator Ward Highlights New Safety Resources Available to School Districts

HARRISBURG – Senator Judy Ward (R-30) today highlighted the new tools the General Assembly has made available to identify threats and improve school security.

Act 44 of 2018 made several important improvements to school safety, including:

  • $60 Million in grants for security upgrades for personnel and equipment, or for school counselors.
  • $10 million for State Police security and risk assessments to help schools identify security gaps and fix them.
  • Creation of the Safe2SayPA hotline to confidentially report safety threats.
  • Creation of the School Safety & Security Committee to compile “best practices” for school safety, and establish standards to help evaluate whether school districts have made themselves safe.

“We have seen tremendous progress in the past year toward making our schools a safer environment for children to learn and grow,” Ward said. “Many of our local school districts have already been selected to receive school safety grants, and I look forward to seeing how this money will be put to good use in addressing the unique security needs of each school district.”

To ensure that security is a priority in every school district, the state now requires each district to appoint a safety and security coordinator. Schools must also conduct drills of their response to a school shooter and to involve local police in the response plan.

More information is available on school safety legislative actions here and from the state Office of Safe Schools.

CONTACT:  Cheryl Schriner (717) 787-5490

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