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AG Kaul announces Office of School Safety funding secured for this school year | #schoolsaftey

MADISON, Wis. (WSAW) – Attorney General Josh Kaul has announced that the Wisconsin DOJ Office of School Safety has secured one-time funding to temporarily continue its current, lifesaving operations to keep Wisconsin kids safe.

Since its inception in 2018, OSS has become a critical resource for students, teachers, school administrators, and educational communities across the state of Wisconsin by implementing practices proven to prevent violence in schools.

“We’re committed to doing everything we can to keep our kids safe by preventing tragedy, and that’s exactly what these funds will help us continue to do,” said Attorney General Kaul. “It remains essential, however, for the state legislature to take action in the current legislative session. We must not allow critical Office of School Safety programs to be gutted at the end of 2024.”

The Wisconsin DOJ reallocated $1,340,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (APRA) funds to extend the operations of OSS including the Speak Up, Speak Out 24-hour tipline, critical incident response teams, and threat assessment consultation.

The funds being used were originally awarded for the purpose of outsourcing testing of certain types of evidence at the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratories, however, after an exhaustive search, no vendors for testing those types of evidence were available and the funds will not be able to be expended before the deadline for using ARPA funds.

OSS staff provides training that follows national best practices related to crisis prevention and response, free of charge, to any Wisconsin school that requests it. They also developed and maintain critical incident response teams for every region of Wisconsin, and they established and run the Speak Up, Speak Out Resource Center, including the 24-hour tipline.

OSS has also distributed nearly $100 million in grants for safety enhancements, threat assessment training, and mental health training to public, private, charter, and tribal schools throughout Wisconsin. OSS is a repository for five documents for every private, public, and tribal school in Wisconsin. 

OSS school safety consultants provide coaching and support to local school officials as they create emergency operations plans and school safety practices in their schools.

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