Requests for school security funds far outstrip availability of funds

For the second year of the existence of a school security grant program, requests for funding have far exceeded the amount of money available.

Requests from districts for Safe and Secure Schools State Aid Grants totaled $12.85 million. The Legislature this year approved $5 million in funding, the same amount it approved in 2018 when schools applied for more than $19 million.

Deputy Education Commissioner Dale Dennis told the Legislative Budget Committee on Wednesday that education officials worked quickly to get the grants to the schools.

“We consider this very important that we don’t delay the process,” Dennis said.

A total of 169 districts received grants, ranging from $670 for Moscow USD 209 to $921,475 for Wichita USD 259. The formula for the funding was the lower amount between $19.24 per student or the actual amount requested.

The grants were given to improve structural building safety and security technology systems, such as cameras, door locks and detection systems.

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