FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX 56) — Over the past four years, Kentucky education leaders have put school safety under a microscope, taking a hard look at how well students are protected from danger. The new focus was born in the aftermath of several school shootings around the country.
A new safety assessment report was released on Tuesday.
“Since the passage of the School Safety and Resiliency Act in 2019, the number of full-time school resource officers has increased 66%,” said Governor Andy Beshear.
There are 173 school districts in Kentucky, and a new report from the state security marshal shows that 99% of them are following the School Safety and Resiliency Act.
“We have 15 compliance officers that go around the state and make sure that schools are following the mandates. And it’s not a compliance issue now for schools. It’s a commitment. And schools are making a commitment to school safety,” State School Security Marshal Ben Wilcox said.
The law places several safety requirements on schools, such as tighter access to buildings., active shooting training, and mental health services. The report released Tuesday measures results from the 2022 school year.
“We’re not only compliance officers, but we also are resources for our schools. We want to have 100% compliance, but we want to work with our schools to get to 100% compliance because we have to have 100% compliance,” Wilcox said.
The governor’s proposed public safety budget plan from April includes raising the current $4,300 law enforcement training stipend to an all-time high of $4,800. School resource officers are also eligible to receive grant funding to upgrade their body armor.
“I announced additional steps increasing officer safety across the Commonwealth, including a 20 million dollar fund,” Beshear said.
Kentuckians are encouraged to report information that may cause harm to schools to the STOP! Tipline at 866-393-6659 or safeschools.ky.gov.
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