The Tennessee governor Wednesday announced nearly $200 million in grants to bolster security at the state’s schools.
“Nothing is more important than making sure Tennessee students and teachers return home from school safely every day,” Gov. Bill Lee wrote in a press release inviting law enforcement agencies and school leaders to apply for the grants. “Since 2019, we have done a lot of work to secure schools, but we’re not done yet. We have a unique opportunity this year to invest in strengthening school security and we want to make sure that schools across Tennessee have the information they need to access these important resources.”
The state General Assembly passed strong school security measures early this year, including funding a full-time armed school resource officer at every public school, and grants to support security improvements at public and private schools in the state.
Tennessee law enforcement agencies are eligible to apply for an SRO Grant not to exceed $75,000 a year per school. Applications are being reviewed by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
The grants can be used to support security efforts such as improving physical security, emergency operations planning, violence prevention programs, conflict resolution and safety training for staff members.
Public school administrators can complete applications for the grants through ePlan, an online grant management system. The applications are due no later than Sept. 29. Accredited non-public schools must submit an “intent to apply” through the Tennessee Department of Education by Aug. 4.
Non-public schools will need to obtain fire marshal approval, work with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to ensure background checks of all employees, and ensure all teachers have proper credentials in accordance with public schools.