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Lee launches nearly $200 million in school safety grants | School | #schoolsaftey

Returning to school may be the last thing on students’ minds while teachers are working on recuperating from last year’s ups and downs.

What cannot get a break during any season is school safety, a topic that sadly keeps many on their toes and others earnestly hoping to find the best solution to keep students, teachers, and staff safe.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has recently invited local law enforcement agencies and schools to apply for nearly $200 million in grant funding to further strengthen security at Tennessee schools.

The significant funding aims to support placing a full-time, armed school resource officer (SRO) at every public school and make physical security improvements at public and non-public schools across Tennessee.

“Nothing is more important than making sure that Tennessee students and teachers return home from school safely each day,” said Gov. Lee. “This year, together with the General Assembly, we made significant investments to secure schools across Tennessee, and we’re now inviting local law enforcement agencies and schools to partner with us by applying for these historic funds.”

Local law enforcement agencies and schools across Tennessee are invited to apply for the following grant programs to further strengthen school safety:

Statewide School Resource Officer Grant

The FY23-24 budget includes $140 million to place a full-time, armed SRO at every Tennessee public school.

Local law enforcement agencies are eligible to apply for a Statewide School Resource Officer (SRO) Grant, not to exceed $75,000 per year per school for which they are responsible for providing SRO services. Applications are being accepted and reviewed by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security on a rolling basis.

Public and Non-Public School Security Grants

Additionally, the FY23-24 budget dedicates significant one-time funding to strengthen security at Tennessee schools, totaling $40 million for public schools and $14 million for non-public schools.

The grant funding, administered through the Tennessee Department of Education, can be used to support a variety of school security efforts, including improved physical security, emergency operations planning, violence prevention programs, conflict resolution, and safety training for staff members.

Public School Security Grant

Public school, security grant applications must demonstrate a connection between requested funding and the vulnerabilities identified in the school’s yearly safety assessment, developed by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

Public schools are invited to learn more and apply for grant funding here no later than September 29.

Non-Public School Security Grant

Non-public schools must submit an “Intent to Apply” through the Tennessee Department of Education by August 4. Final grant applications are due no later than October 27.

To learn more please visit www.tn.gov. 

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