School Safety Improvement Fund

5 Can’t-Miss Grant Opportunities to Fund School Safety Improvements

Did you know that there are a variety of funding resources to improve your school’s safety technology? 

In fact, after the Parkland Florida tragedy in 2018, the government instituted a 1-billion dollars in spending over 10 years dedicated to improving school safety. Now schools are beginning to utilize that funding in earnest. And in order to facilitate this spending, schools can now explore potential grants on a government website using their Grants Finder Tool.

While we all recognize the need to ensure the safety and security of our school communities, funding communication and safety technology for schools (from emergency notification to federally compliant VoIP phone systems) can present a challenge. But at Eastern DataComm we believe that funding should not become an obstacle to preventing future school tragedies through tech solutions. 

Partnering with Eastern DataComm to explore the right safety solutions for your school or district is a great first step. When we collaborate we’ll not only design a school safety and communications solution that’s right for you, we’ll dive into the best grants and financial pathways to funding it. Having a school safety and security partner makes these fiscal efforts easier and more accessible than ever. 

In today’s blog, we’re exploring some available grants and offering insight on how to access them. 

Grant 1 Pennsylvania’s Safe Schools Targeted Grants 

The state of Pennsylvania’s Safe Schools Targeted Grants are designed to support schools in addressing school violence. 

What Are Pennsylvania’s Safe Schools Targeted Grants And Why Are They Helpful to Districts?

These grants help schools fund relevant school safety programs and equipment needs each year. The funds are distributed through a competitive review process and an application process that involves certain requirements along with a scoring system to measure the appropriateness of funding.

What The Pennsylvania Safe Schools Grant Covers

Those who receive the grant can garner up to $50,000 in funding. Schools can apply to cover up to 25% of the cost of security audits and relevant reviews.

According to the grant authorized expenses for the grant funding include:

  • “Risk assessment, safety-related, violence prevention curricula, including, but not limited to, dating violence curricula and restorative justice strategies 
  • Training to assess risk factors that increase the likelihood of problem behaviors among students across the school entity or nonpublic school
  • Comprehensive school safety, violence prevention, emergency preparedness, and all hazard plans inclusive of the whole school entity or nonpublic school, including revisions or updates to such plans and conducting emergency preparedness drills and related activities with local emergency responders
  • Security planning and purchase of security-related technology which may include metal detectors, protective lighting, surveillance equipment, special emergency communications equipment, electronic locksets, deadbolts, and theft control devices, and training in the use of security-related technology 
  • Institution of student, staff, and visitor identification systems, including criminal background check software
  • An Internet-based system for the management of student discipline, including misconduct and criminal offenses; and

How to Apply for Pennsylvania’s Safe Schools Targeted Grants

A multidisciplinary team reviews applications and places weight on the schools’ needs which are documented by application data. All required information must be submitted for the team to consider your application.

Applications are reviewed in the fall (see this past year’s details here). You can apply for up to $50,000 and the funding you receive can defray costs you experience from January 1, 2023, to December 31, 2023.

Should you have any questions or require help, contact Russell Alves at [email protected] for assistance.

As the deadline for this grant may have passed by the time you’re reviewing this blog, we suggest bookmarking this funding opportunity for next year. And we invite you to reach out to our Eastern DataComm team in the meanwhile to prepare for next year’s application.

Grant 2: Connecticut’s School Security Grant Program 

Connecticut’s School Security Grant Program is a competitive grant program that helps districts defray the costs that accompany necessary infrastructure improvements related to security and emergency communication.  

What Is Connecticut’s School Security Grant Program And Why Is It Helpful to Districts?

The School Security Grant Program is designed to help schools and districts fund improvements that protect their schools. The grant provides Connecticut’s public schools with the opportunity to seek funding for valuable safety and security features to enhance their school safety ecosystems. In addition to key physical security features like fencing and ballistic glass, the grant also includes categories for technology and communications upgrades related to ensuring the security of buildings and grounds. 

What Does Connecticut’s School Security Grant Program Grant Cover?

The SSGP funding a school district may receive can be used toward several school communication and security priorities.

According to the grant, these priorities include:

  • Internal and external cameras 
  • Portable entrance security devices 
  • Panic alarm systems 
  • Communications systems like internal radios or public address systems
  • Access control systems, like computer-controlled locks, scan card systems, and door buzzer systems
  • Vendor provided training (only vendor provided training on new equipment purchased under the grant program)

How To Apply For Connecticut’s School Security Grant Program

Like The multi-media grant described below, the application is made up of two-part. First is a general information and demographic portion. Second is a self-assessment that you’ll complete with the help of law enforcement. You must complete both parts by the deadline to be considered for funding.

All applications for this opportunity are due on March 31, 2023, by 3 pm EST. 

Any questions should be directed by email to [email protected] or by phone at 860-256-0800.  

Grant 3: Connecticut’s Multi-Media School Security Grant Program 

The state of Connecticut’s Multi-Media School Security Grant Program is designed to provide schools with security upgrades that include the ability to provide relevant communication and notification to law enforcement.

What Is The Multi-Media School Security Grant Program And Why Is It Helpful to Districts?

The Multi-Media School Security Grant Program helps schools including charter, tech, public, and regional schools with funding for relevant safety upgrades.

What The Multi-Media School Security Grant Program Grant Covers

The Multi-Media School Security Grant Program covers a variety of projects related to the safety, security, and communications needs of schools. 

According to the grant these projects include: 

  • Internal and external cameras that transmit real-time video to law enforcement
  • panic alarm systems that transmit real-time notifications directly to law enforcement
  • Radio systems that tie into law enforcement 
  • Integration of current systems to provide a direct line of communications to law enforcement 
  • Vendor provided training (only vendor provided training on new equipment purchased under the grant program)

How to Apply for The Multi-Media School Security Grant Program

Like The school security grant described above, the application for the  Multi-Media School Security Grant Program is a two-part application. The first part includes a PDF regarding your school’s demographics, project description, budget, and relevant points of contact. 

The second portion is a self-assessment that you can complete online with law enforcement assistance. This portion is focused on your school’s security. Funding consideration is only given to those who complete both parts of the application and this application is separate from the SSGP application.

That being said, you need only complete one self-assessment if you decide to apply for both this grant and the SSGP grant.

Funding priority will be given to those schools that did not previously receive this funding.

All applications for this opportunity are due on March 31, 2023, by 3 pm EST. 

Any questions should be directed by email to [email protected] or by phone at 860-256-0800.  

Grant 4: New York’s Nonpublic School Safety Equipment (NPSE) Grant

The Non-Public School Safety Grant is a unique funding opportunity for nonpublic schools in New York State.

What Is Nonpublic School Safety Equipment (NPSE) Grant and Why Is It Helpful To Districts?

The Nonpublic School Safety Equipment Grant offers nonpublic schools reimbursement for safety and health-related expenses. The grant helps currently operating religious and independent Schools with a valid BEDS code to fund relevant projects for school safety equipment. 

What The Nonpublic School Safety Equipment (NPSE) Grant Covers 

According to the grant, three are a variety of projects that may qualify for funding. 

These include:

  • Access control systems
    • An intercom to speak to visitors
    • Remote electronic door unlatching system
    • External cameras 
    • Interface with the building management system 
  • Central lockdown buttons
  • School security and safety assessments to assist school officials in identifying potential vulnerabilities, as well as strengths relating to security and safety for students, staff, and visitors

How to Apply for Nonpublic School Safety Equipment (NPSE) Grant

Currently-open Religious and Independent Schools with a BEDS code (and who have filed BEDS enrollment data for the 2021-22 school year that includes grades Kindergarten and higher) can apply by March 31, 2023, for grant funding.

Further questions regarding this grant opportunity can be directed to the state Office of Religious and Independent Schools, [email protected] and you can learn more about the grant here

Grant 5: New Jersey’s Regular Operating Districts Grant

New Jersey’s Regular Operating Districts Grant (ROD) is designed to address high-priority projects in New Jersey Public schools to assure that the schools are providing high-quality facilities to match their high-quality instructional practices.

What Is Regular Operating Districts (ROD) Grant and Why Is It Helpful To Districts?

ROD offers $350 million for capital projects in the state of New Jersey’s 550 Regular Operating Districts. It helps schools by providing funding opportunities for capital maintenance requirements, emergent needs, infrastructure upgrades, and other facilities projects. 

The grant is also evidence of New Jersey’s commitment to providing students with exemplary learning environments and to keeping those environments safe and secure places for learning to occur. This funding is also focused on extending the life cycle of schools across New Jersey so that investments are made for the long-term success of each district.

What The Regular Operating Districts (ROD) Grant Covers

  • The grant will cover at least 40% of a school district’s costs incurred from eligible projects. There are 13 eligible categories and to qualify a project must be fully eligible under one of those categories. Funding begins after the submission of all documents required and approval of the application. Districts can receive payments at specific project milestones.

When it comes to what is covered by the ROD grant, those 13 categories cover a variety of areas. Several of the project funding areas relate to vital safety and security solutions. That being said, some of the project categories, according to the grant, include: 

  • Security and communications systems (Includes essential systems) 
  • Technology infrastructure upgrades  
  • Special population needs (For program expansion or educational adequacy) 
  • Existing site upgrades, excluding athletic fields and tracks (Including upgrades to sidewalks, paving, fencing, and security lighting) 
  • Renovation and/or new construction of capacity-generating classrooms to address overcrowding or substandard conditions.

How to Apply for The Regular Operating Districts (ROD) Grant 

Applying for the ROD grant requires that you apply by May 1, 2023. From there, the Department of Education will discern your eligibility and determine it in 90 days.

The New Jersey Department of Education reviews applications and funds are disbursed by the School Development Authority upon approval.

A Partner Who Helps You Understand Your Funding Options for School Safety Solutions

Partnering with Eastern DataComm as your safety and communications partner helps you create a holistic approach to school safety and understand the path forward when it comes to funding its implementation.

Enhance Your School’s Security with Help from Eastern DataComm

Are you interested in applying for grant funding to support your school’s safety ecosystem and on-campus security? We can help. Reserve your complimentary consultation with our team to explore options and discuss funding-relevant solutions through grants.