RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today awarded $6 million in School Security Equipment Grants to protect students and teachers in 104 school divisions and three regional educational programs. The grants will pay for video monitoring systems, metal detectors, classroom locks, electronic-access controls, visitor-identification systems, direct communications links between schools and law enforcement agencies, and other security upgrades in 545 schools and other instructional facilities.
Among those awarded grants are:
- Pulaski County — $69,600 for Critzer Elementary
- Radford — $51,392 for Belle Heth Elementary, John N. Dalton Intermediate, McHarg Elementary and Radford High
“School safety is imperative to providing an environment where students can learn, grow and thrive,” said Governor McAuliffe. “These grants will provide our school administrators with the resources they need to keep their students and teachers safe so they can concentrate on providing a world class education and preparing for success in the new Virginia economy.”
The School Security Equipment Grants program was established by the 2013 General Assembly in the aftermath of the December 14, 2012, mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.
The criteria for making the awards — developed by the Virginia Department of Education and the state Department of Criminal Justice Services — gives priority to schools most in need of modern security equipment, schools with relatively high numbers of offenses, schools with equipment needs identified by a school security audit, and schools in divisions least able to afford security upgrades.
This fifth round of awards brings the total number of school security projects receiving state funding through the program to 2,327.
“These grants will allow for safety enhancements and systems that will help schools meet the basic expectation that public schools are safe environments where all students can focus on learning,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples said.