CLEARFIELD – Gov. Tom Corbett today announced that $3.9 million has been awarded to 114 schools and municipalities to fund the hiring of police and resource officers in schools across Pennsylvania.
“The safety and security of our students is a top priority,” Corbett said. “Students who feel safe while in school are able to focus on learning, which impacts their academic growth. This funding will provide schools with the financial resources to secure the necessary personnel to ensure our students are protected while attending school.”
Last year, Corbett signed into law legislation – sponsored by Sen. Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) – that created a new grant program for schools and municipalities to receive funding through the Department of Education to cover the cost of hiring a school resource officer or school police officer.
Schools and municipalities can receive up to $60,000 for a school resource officer and up to $40,000 for a school police officer.
Grantees are required to fund these positions for at least two years, and will be eligible to receive 50 percent of their 2014-15 grant award during the 2015-16 school year.
Of the 114 awards, 39 are new applicants and 75 are continuation grants for schools and municipalities that received an award during the 2013-14 school year. Continuation grants are funded at 50 percent of the amount received in the prior year.
This year, the 39 new applications were reviewed based on guidelines of the grant program, with each applicant being awarded a grant.
Under requirements of the law, priority for funding is given to schools and municipalities that employ officers who have completed additional training related to interaction with children and adolescents within a school setting.
Editor’s note: A list of grantees and award amounts can be accessed by visitingwww.education.state.pa.us and clicking on the “2014-15 SPO/SRO Grant Awards” icon.