Barletta Applauds $25 Million in Grant Funding Made Available for School Security
WASHINGTON – This week, Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) commended the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) announcement that the 2018 School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP), which provides funding opportunities for states and local governments to improve school security, is now open and accepting applications. The School Violence Prevention Program is administered by DOJ’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office and was authorized by the STOP School Violence Act, which Barletta cosponsored and voted for, and was signed into law on March 23, 2018.
“As the father of four daughters, two of whom are teachers, and a grandfather of eight, school security is an issue that hits close to home,” Barletta said. “I’m glad the Department of Justice has followed through on my request to make these funds available, and provided guidance on how to apply for them so that schools can begin to improve their security and increase their students’ safety.”
Last month, Barletta sent a letter urging Attorney General Jeff Sessions to issue guidance to states and localities on how to apply for school security grant funds offered through the DOJ’s Bureau of Justices Assistance (BJA) and COPS Office. The letter also requested that the Attorney General ensure that this money, which was authorized and appropriated by Congress earlier this year, gets out the door as quickly as possible so that schools can begin to implement security measures best suited for their students.
The School Violence Prevention Program can be used for up to 75 percent of the funding for the following school safety measures: coordination with law enforcement; metal detectors, locks, and other deterrent measures; training for local law enforcement officers to prevent student violence against others and themselves; technology to notify law enforcement during an emergency; and any other measure that the COPS Office determines will significantly improve security. Up to $25 million is available through this year’s School Violence Prevention Program, and the application period for those funds is open until July 30, 2018. Click here for more information on the 2018 School Violence Prevention Program.
Earlier this month, Barletta introduced the Protecting Our Kids Act (H.R. 5990), which would take action to improve the safety of America’s students by directing the Department of Education to coordinate with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish security standards and guidelines for schools within 60 days of enactment. Schools would then be able to use these standards and guidelines as they see fit to best protect their students and teachers. DHS provides similar guidance to federal agencies and buildings to ensure the properties and the federal employees inside of them have adequate protections to keep them safe. H.R. 5990 would not mandate any blanket security protocols, but rather provide an additional tool for schools to use to determine what improvements can be made that best fit the unique needs of their students and faculty.
To watch Barletta speak about his bill to the Federal Commission on School Safety during a public listening session, click here.