This Act establishes the Delaware School Safety and Security Fund to allow eligible public schools to compete for grant awards to partially or fully fund projects intended to improve school safety or security
This Act is effective upon an annual appropriation in the Annual Appropriations Act.
This Act establishes the Delaware School Safety and Security Fund to allow all public schools to compete for grant awards, not to exceed $50,000 per school, to support projects intended to improve school safety or security.
The Department of Education will administer the grant program whereby a five-member committee consisting of one representative from each of the following entities: Department of Education, Department of Safety and Homeland Security, the Office of Management and Budget (who will serve as chair of the committee), the Office of the Governor, and the Delaware Association of School Administrators.
The School Safety and Security Fund is to initially be funded with $5,000,000 and subject to available appropriations thereafter.
Fiscal Year 2014: $5,000,000
Fiscal Year 2015: Subject to available appropriation
Fiscal Year 2016 Subject to available appropriation
Certainly I don’t think state grants should just be handed out without knowing how they are going to be spent. However, competitions for extra funds to make our schools safer might send a wrong message. Furthermore, I think a special fund should be set up where the public and local business can make contributions and not in the direct control of the Delaware Department of Education.
Most of the public school districts list school security and safety on their referendum ballots. But certainly extra enhancements would increase school safety. If anything, budget funding for school security should come first before any administrative travel or wining and dining and retirement parties on the taxpayer’s dime.
Charter schools are the most vulnerable and don’t have the authority to hold referendums for such costly needs. This is onetime we can put the public vs charter school debate aside and address the funding disparities when it comes to building safety. Hopefully the charter school chiefs are aware of this legislation and weigh-in.
I think the idea is great and demonstrates our state legislators are trying to get creative in addressing school security concerns. But we must think of the equity issues in ensuring all schools including charter meet basic building security needs before providing extra funding for some schools to be more secure.
So question of the day for you, should our Delaware public and charter schools be required to compete for funds needed to make our public schools more secure and safe?
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