WEST CHESTER, October 4, 2018 – State Senator Andy Dinniman announced today that several Chester County school districts will receive nearly $140,000 in state funding to prevent violence in schools and support school resource officers (SROs) and school police officers (SPOs).

The funds, which come through the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Safe Schools Targeted Grant Program, are divided into three categories

Program Grants – $1.04 million has been awarded to 60 public school entities statewide to establish and implement programs to prevent and reduce violent incidents.  Applicants were eligible to receive up to $20,000 to fund programs.

  • The Owen J. Roberts School District will receive a $19,994 program grant.
  • The West Chester Area School District will receive a $20,000 program grant.

SRO Grants$3.3 million has been awarded to 75 school entities statewide to provide funding for the training and compensation of SROs, municipalities and police departments.  SROs are law enforcement officers from local, county or state law enforcement agencies assigned to schools in cooperative agreements with education officials.  Applicants were eligible for a maximum individual grant of $60,000 for Year 1 and $30,000 for Year 2.

  • The Southern Chester County Regional Police Department will receive a $60,000 SRO grant for 2018-19.

SPO Grants – $3 million has been awarded to 88 school entities statewide for the training and compensation of SPOs, who are employed directly by the school districts.  Applicants were eligible for a maximum individual grant of $40,000 for Year 1 and $20,000 for Year 2.

  • The Coatesville Area School District will receive a $40,000 SPO grant for 2018-19.

“Safety is a primary duty of our schools. After all, students can’t learn and teachers can’t teach if they don’t feel safe,” Dinniman, who serves as majority chair of the Senate Education Committee, said. “These grants will help local school districts establish violence prevention programs and support school resource and police officers on campus.”

The Chester County grant projects come as part of more than $8.3 million in total state funding awarded to enhance school and student safety throughout the Commonwealth.

“Parents must feel safe sending their kids to school, and students deserve a safe and healthy environment where they can grow, learn and succeed,” said Department of Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera. “This targeted funding helps schools secure the resources they need to provide a safe environment and builds on the administration’s commitment to students and teachers across the commonwealth.”

PDE’s program is separate from the new $60 million School Safety and Security Grant program created this year and administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD).  The deadline for schools to apply for these PCCD grants is October 12th

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