Lawmakers: School safety funding on track for March 2019

Written by Brett Sholtis/WITF News | Aug 15, 2018 4:08 PM

Central York High School in York County. The school district closed for over a week last school year after an online threat raised security concerns. (Brett Sholtis/WITF News)

State lawmakers say they're awaiting feedback from the state's 500 school districts and 300 private school entities before they can disburse the first wave of funding to improve school safety.

The funds are part of Act 44, a bipartisan bill signed into law in the months after the Parkland, Florida school shooting that killed 17 people.

The bill allocates $60 million for school security funding, with each school district will get at least $25,000 during the 2018-2019 school year, Republican State Senator Wayne Langerholc said. Districts can apply for additional funding as needed. 

"I'm certain that a decent amount of that money will go to the mental health component, for guidance counselors [ and ] licensed social workers," Langerholc said.  

Though improved mental health resources are a key part of the plan, needs will vary from one district to another, said Republican State Senator Mike Regan. Deterrents like metal detectors, keycode devices and bulletproof glass are some of the security measures districts may request. 

It is possible firearms or firearms training for teachers could be approved for funding if schools seek it, Brewster said. 

Categories for funding include: safety and security asseessments, conflict resolution and dispute management, school-based diversion programs, training, security planning, and additional school resource officers, counselors, social workers, and psychologists.

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