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6 state school safety grants agencies should know about

As districts transition back to in-person learning, the need for school safety has never been greater


A 2020 RAND Corporation COVID survey found that “66% of teachers…say their students are less prepared for grade-level work now compared to this point last year.” Governors from many states are requiring schools to reopen immediately.

Currently, the transition from online classes to in-person classrooms is moving at rapid speeds. Children will need time to readjust for in-person school, and stress will be elevated. The need for school safety has never been greater. Is your school ready to provide a safe and secure environment for students?

State school safety grants are an opportunity for K-12 schools to receive grant monies to protect students, staff and their schools. Research your state-specific guidelines.

  1. School Safety and Security Grant Program (Ohio): PK-12 schools can apply for $40K to purchase equipment that improves the safety and security of students, staff and facilities. Eligible school safety equipment are vehicle crash barriers (bollards) in front of entrances; modifications of building/facility entrances to restrict access; secured keycard systems, metal detectors, and security cameras. Apply by March 31, 2021.
  2. Texas Juvenile Justice & Truancy Prevention Grant Program: This is a proactive grant designed to “prevent security threats in advance” for at-risk youth. Intervention, truancy prevention, and mental health help “geared towards school safety will be given priority.” Apply by February 11, 2022.
  3. Mississippi Community Oriented Policing Services in Schools (MCOPS) Grant: K-12 schools may apply to “increase the number of School Resource Officers (SROs).” SROs enhance community policing, provide a link from police departments directly to school administrators, conduct risk assessments, and develop school safety plans. Apply by March 31, 2022.
  4. School Safety Grants (Minnesota): Another proactive grant provides school districts up to $500 thousand to help prevent violence and harden facilities. Grant funds may be used to “predesign, design, construct, furnish, and equip school facilities and includes renovating and expanding existing buildings.” The grants must be used to complete projects that do not currently have funding. Apply by August 28, 2022.
  5. School Safety and Security Grant Program (Vermont): K-12 schools can apply for $25 thousand to enhance or install security and safety equipment that enhances school safety. Note: schools are required to provide 25% matching funds to the grant amount. Apply by September 26, 2021.
  6. Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) (Texas): School districts may apply for a minimum of $10 thousand for safety and supply equipment, technical assistance training, hiring personnel, contractual support, and information systems. Funds must be used in these purpose areas: law enforcement programs; prosecution programs; crime prevention programs; and assessment and evaluation programs. Note: Texas is the only state to authorize school districts to apply for JAG.

Under certain circumstances, state entitlement grants can be used for school safety. Research and call your state education specialist for specifics. These formula grants include:

  • Title I (Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged)
  • Title II-A (Effective Teachers & Leaders)
  • Title III (Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient and Immigrant Students)
  • Title IV-A (Student Support & Academic Enrichment)
  • RLIS (Rural and Low-Income School Program)
  • IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) funds the excess costs of providing special education and related services to children with disabilities.

Helpful hint: You can use various grant-specific sites such as when researching school safety grants. If you do not have access to a grant search engine, use your favorite search engine such as Google. Use broad words at first; then narrow your search with specific words.

Judy Pal is the founder and principal of 10-8 Communications LLC and conducts media training, communications counsel, and virtual training for public safety across North America. She is a former assistant commissioner with the NYPD and chief of staff with both the Baltimore and Milwaukee police departments. A former broadcast journalist, she also served as head of communications for Atlanta, Savannah and Halifax (Canada) police. Learn more at