Sen. Katie Muth announced state funding for school and community safety for every school district in Senate District 44.
Berks County schools include Boyertown Area School District - $495,000, Daniel Boone Area School District - $40,000, Twin Valley Area School District - $40,000.
Berks County Intermediate Unit ($254,733) and Chester County Intermediate Unit ($256,693) received funding. While these two school district serve a large portion of our constituents, they are outside of district lines and their grant totals are not reflected in the SD-44 overall total.
“For far too long the safety of our students and teachers has been neglected. And so, today every school district in SD-44 will receive funding to enhance school safety and security,” said Muth. “Our children deserve to learn in an environment where they feel safe and secure, while also providing a safe space for them to speak to trained individuals about how to handle stressors in their lives. Our teachers deserve to teach in a space where they, too, are safe and well-equipped with the tools they need.”
“A promising total of $2,395,708 will be sent to SD-44 to ensure our students and our teachers can perform at their best. Thank you to the School Safety and Security Committee and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) for prioritizing the safety and wellbeing of our schools.”
The money received from these grants will be used to address a wide array of school safety concerns including, but not limited to: conflict resolution or dispute management, including restorative justice strategies; security planning and purchase of security-related technology; trauma-informed approaches to education; thorough, district-wide school safety, violence prevention, emergency preparedness and all-hazards plans, including revisions or updates to such plans and conducting; emergency preparedness drills and related activities with local emergency responders; the institution of student, staff and visitor identification systems, including criminal background check software; counseling services for students, and much more.
Act 44 of 2018 created a School Safety and Security Fund for the purposes of providing funding to school districts for school safety and security concerns and addressing community violence. Today, $60 million was distributed for school safety, including $7.5 million for community anti-violence programs.
The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) receives hundreds of applications for these awards. Eligible school entities include school districts, intermediate units, area vocational-technical schools, charter schools and private rehabilitative institutions. Act 44 created the School Safety and Security Committee, which reviews the grants.
Funds can be used for a wide variety of items, based on the needs of the entity. These uses can include the purchase of equipment, trainings, programs, counseling services, planning, screenings, and to secure behavioral health care professionals and support.