Governor DeWine Announces School Safety Support for More Than 900 Ohio Schools (Ashland Included)
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced that more than 900 additional schools will receive state funding support for physical safety and security upgrades as part of the latest round of Ohio's K-12 School Safety Grant Program.
Governor DeWine made the announcement this morning while visiting Lakewood High School in Cuyahoga County, which is one of 945 schools that will receive a combined $68 million in grants as part of the fourth round of the program. A fifth round of funding will be announced in coming weeks.
A total of $112 million was allocated for the fourth and fifth rounds of the grant program by the Ohio General Assembly as part of House Bill 45, which was signed by Governor DeWine last month. The investment more than doubles the initial allotment of of $105 million for the program provided by Ohio's operating budget and the American Rescue Plan Act.
"When we created the K-12 School Safety Grant Program, we expected that the need for funding would far exceed the amount of money available, but I vowed to go back to the legislature and ask for more," said Governor DeWine. "Now, with the generous support of the Ohio General Assembly, I'm proud to announce that every single qualifying school that applied for a grant will receive funding."
So far, a total of $173 million has been awarded to 2,374 Ohio K-12 schools to help pay for physical security expenses such as new security cameras, public address systems, automatic door locks, visitor badging systems, and exterior lighting. Eligible schools could receive as much as $100,000 per building.
The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission is administering the program in partnership with the Ohio School Safety Center.
Since taking office in 2019, Governor DeWine has led several initiatives to support school safety, including the creation of the Ohio School Safety Center, which works to assist local schools, colleges, universities, and law enforcement agencies to prevent, prepare for, and respond to threats and acts of violence, including self-harm, through a holistic, solutions-based approach to improving school safety.
Governor DeWine also created the Student Wellness and Success Fund, a $1.2 billion investment that is now a part of the school funding formula, to provide wraparound services to students. Wraparound services are programming and supports meant to build skills and fulfill a student or familial need. To date, this funding has launched 1,300 mental health programs and trained 6,500 educators and school professionals.
As part of his executive budget proposal presented to the Ohio General Assembly this week, Governor DeWine is also requesting funding to help schools with the cost of staffing a school resource officer.