GOV. MALLOY ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL FUNDING TO MAKE SCHOOLS SAFER
$22 Million Will Improve Security at 445 Public & Private Schools
(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that an additional 380 public schools and 65 private and religious schools will receive funds as part of the School Security Grant Program. An additional $22 million in state funding will be used to reimburse municipalities for a portion of the costs associated with security infrastructure improvements at
"I was proud to make additional funds available last year to support security improvements at
that applied to the School Security Grant Program. With this latest expansion, we're also including state-run schools that were not previously funded as well as private and religious schools," said Governor Dannel P. Malloy. "We want our schools - both private and public - to make their institutions as safe as possible. These additional funds will allow us to continue to get resources out to communities that need to modernize their school security infrastructure to keep students safe."
With this additional round, the state has made a total of $43 million available for school security upgrades at over a thousand Connecticut schools. The program was originally created as part of the historic 2013 legislation on
gun violence prevention, mental health and school safety
"One of the most important things we can do for Connecticut's future is strengthen our education system," said Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman. "Historic investments in our public schools, universal pre-K, initiatives to make college more affordable-all are keys to producing a talented workforce and building a thriving economy. Governor Malloy's leadership on school safety and anti-violence initiatives is another indication of this administration's tireless commitment to our schools, teachers, and students."
The matching-grant award program is administered by the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP). State funding is used to reimburse a portion of the costs associated with school security infrastructure improvements.
The program was expanded this year to include all public schools, including technical and inter-district magnet schools, and private schools. The program was also expanded the security infrastructure eligible for reimbursement to include real time interoperable communications and multimedia sharing infrastructure. As under existing law, eligible infrastructure also includes the installation of surveillance cameras, penetration resistant vestibules, ballistic glass, solid core doors, double-door access, computer-controlled electronic locks, entry door buzzer systems, scan card systems, panic alarms, and other systems.
"Creating safe learning environments where our students can grow and thrive is one of our most fundamental obligations. These security enhancements help our local communities modernize their facilities without compromising the welcoming, positive climates of their schools," said Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor. "We are grateful for the Governor's leadership on the issue of school security and for the General Assembly's sustained support."
"Public safety will always be a core function of our government, especially when it comes to our children's safety and security," said Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) Commissioner Dora B. Schriro. "This program is critical to Connecticut. It helps to strengthen our schools, public and private alike, enhancing the safety of students and faculty and making our educational systems more resilient statewide."
Earlier this year, the School Security Infrastructure Council (SSIC) released updated
that require a more comprehensive and uniform consideration of school security measures to help make schools safe. The SSIC standards, which apply to all schools seeking state financial assistance for new construction or substantial renovation, became effective July 1 of this year.
Department of Administrative Services Commissioner Donald DeFronzo, who chaired the SSIC, commented: "With this new grant round, we are continuing the State's commitment to making the necessary improvements in this area and our work on the infrastructure council should inform the efforts of the school districts as they address their priorities for improvements and adopt best practices for facilities' security."
"If children and the professionals who educate them do not feel safe, welcome and secure in our schools, then they will not be able to focus on what matters most-the day's lessons," said AFT Connecticut President Melodie Peters. "Our students are the reason we do what we do every day and these investments will go a long way to support the opportunity for a great education they all deserve. On behalf of the teachers, paraprofessionals and school employees across the state in AFT Connecticut, I extend our appreciation to the Malloy-Wyman Administration for their commitment to safer schools."
"The Church is as concerned as anyone for the safety of all our children, including those in our Catholic schools. We are pleased that the School Security Grant Program applies to our students and we are grateful to participate in this legislative effort," said Michael C. Culhane, Executive Director of the Connecticut Catholic Public Affairs Conference.
On behalf of the Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut (JFACT), Chairman Robert Lesser and Executive Director Bob Fishman stated, "We are very pleased that three of our Jewish day schools are recipients of this very critical school security grant program. We thank Governor Malloy and his staff for their leadership and the bipartisan General Assembly who voted for the funding and asked important questions at public hearings. We were very happy to collaborate with the Catholic schools to bring this effort to a very successful result."
"Almost from the moment that the tragedy in Newtown occurred, the Governor and the Legislature have made improving the safety and security of our students, teachers and others who work in our schools a major priority," said Dr. Joseph J. Cirasuolo, Executive Director of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS). "This latest action on the part of the Governor is consistent with this ongoing effort. The CT Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) is grateful to the Governor and other state leaders for their continued commitment to making our schools as safe and secure as they can be."
"The Connecticut Association of Boards of Education appreciates the continued State commitment to support the ongoing efforts of local and regional school boards to enhance school security," said Patrice McCarthy, Deputy Director and General Counsel to the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE).
Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff, Executive Director of the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) states: "The Connecticut Association of Schools is once again impressed and so appreciative of the State's ongoing effort to support schools in the area of school safety and security. Grant programs such as this make a tremendous difference, especially at a time when fiscal resources in school districts are tight. The State is sending a clear message through this gesture that the safety of children in our schools is a priority."
"As school business managers, we keenly recognize the fiscal reality of security enhancements. The Connecticut Association of School Business Officials (CASBO) greatly appreciates the Governor's support of this important effort with the allocation of additional security grants. We are committed to the safety and well-being of Connecticut's students. These funds will allow schools to provide even greater security," states Tashie Rosen, CASBO President and Branford Public Schools' Chief Financial Officer.
For Immediate Release: October 31, 2014
Contact: Samaia Hernandez
Office of Governor Dannel P. Malloy
Contact: Kelly Donnelly
Connecticut State Department of Education
Contact: Scott DeVico
Department of Emergency Services & Public Protection
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