HARTFORD, CT (STL.News) Governor Ned Lamont today announced that his administration is opening new rounds of funding under two state grant programs that will help with the costs associated with implementing needed security infrastructure improvements and upgrades to emergency communications systems at schools throughout Connecticut.
Administered by the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, in collaboration with the State Department of Education, the School Security Competitive Grant Program and the newly launched Multi-Media Interoperable Communications System Program are open to public and private K-12 schools, and eligible childcare centers and preschools that can demonstrate they have received threats.
A total of $10 million has been allocated across both programs:
- School Security Competitive Grant Program: A total of $5 million has been set aside for the fifth round of grants under this program.
- Recipients can use the funding for infrastructure improvements such as door locks, penetration resistant window film, scan cards/access control systems, fending (6 feet or higher), security lighting, bollards, interior and exterior camera systems, and other
- project that enhance school security infrastructure. A total of $500,000 of funding under this round is allocated for private schools.
- Multi-Media Interoperable Communications Systems Program: This is a new grant program under which $5 million has been set aside for its first round. Recipients can use the funding for the purchase and installation of interoperable systems that are capable of transmitting immediate communications or notifications to law enforcement agencies. For a camera, radio, panic button, or internet of things system to be considered for this grant, it must include the capability of transmitting communications/notifications to law enforcement and/or their call centers. The grant request can also include systems that integrate existing cameras, radios, panic buttons, or other items for transmission to first responders and/or their call centers. Each applicant can consider its needs and design a system that is as practical as possible. A total of $500,000 of funding under this first round is allocated for private schools.
- Applications are now being accepted, with the first part due to the state by 3:00 p.m. on June 15, 2021 and the second part due by June 30, 2021. Applications will be ranked and awarded based on the demonstrated need for security improvements.
“These state grant programs, including the newly launched communication systems component, are an opportunity for schools throughout Connecticut to modernize their infrastructure and implement needed security improvements,” Governor Lamont said. “Providing safe learning environments is a moral obligation shared by the state, municipalities, local districts, and the community, and that is why this state grant program is so important.”
“It is our imperative to ensure our public and private schools, as well as our childcare and pre-schools, have the security infrastructure in place to keep faculty, staff, and students safe, and ensure that our communities have robust real-time information sharing infrastructure so they can make quick decisions that save lives,” Connecticut Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner James C. Rovella said.
“It is our collective responsibility to create a school climate in which increased social-emotional learning, greater access to mental health services, and a commitment to restorative practices allow students and staff to feel safe and secure so they can focus on what matters – teaching and learning,” Connecticut Acting Commissioner of Education Charlene Russell-Tucker said. “Districts can direct this funding towards smart investments in infrastructure upgrades while maintaining a positive, welcoming, and nurturing educational environment that keeps school safety efforts centered on preparing our learners for future success without fear or disruption.”