SCHOOL SAFETY GRANTS – Securing sufficient financing to give kids the right instructional and security technologies can be challenging for many K–12 schools, universities, and colleges of various sizes. According to data released in 2020, the United States has been underfunding K–12 public schools by over $150 billion annually, preventing more than 30 million institutions from getting essential security equipment.
Budgetary constraints frequently make it difficult for school administrators to put upgrades to school security systems ahead of more urgent costs like staff salaries, transportation, and classroom supplies. As a result, grants for school safety equipment are becoming more and more popular forms of financial assistance.
This handbook is intended to assist administrators in K–12 schools, universities, and colleges in locating, obtaining, and effectively utilizing school security grants to update and enhance existing safety and security technologies. You will be informed about a variety of grants for school security systems that will be offered in 2023 and given useful guidance on the application procedures, financial management techniques, and technology to take into consideration for your campus or school.
What exactly are the benefits of receiving school safety grants?
What are school safety grants?
Safe schools grants, security systems grants, and other programs with similar names for increasing school security are monetary awards, frequently worth hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, given by government agencies or nonprofit organizations to educational institutions that meet a predetermined set of requirements.
As the name suggests, these programs attempt to serve as grants for school security enhancements and grants for school safety equipment, giving administrative staff financial resources targeted for making physical modifications to campus security and school safety technology and related systems.
The majority of school safety grants will be viewed as a form of financial aid that does not require repayment in the future. To prevent any danger of the grant money being removed or repaid, educators must make sure that their facility continues to abide by all the terms given by the grant provider.
Schools may be asked to return grant money for the following reasons:
earlier than anticipated withdrawal from the funding program
a modification to the student’s enrollment status that affects the school’s eligibility
receiving additional grants or scholarships from unrelated organizations
What do grants for school security improvements cover?
Depending on the school safety grant program, specifics about which technology, systems, and equipment will be supported will change. In general, financial help will be provided to cover or subsidize the expenses of any technologies that schools can credibly claim are employed to increase safety and security.
Certain school security grants are intended for more particular use cases. For instance, federal school security grants such as the ESSER Fund (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief III) and the related American Rescue Plan (ARP funding for schools) can be used to cover the majority of expenses related to social, emotional, and mental health services, as well as technologies used to meet students’ academic needs. It’s crucial to carefully investigate which grants may support the exact technologies your institution needs to increase school safety because independent programs may have tougher spending limits.
Yet, there are a number of security and safety technologies that the majority of school safety grants will probably support because educators can reasonably argue that these systems may be utilized to offer a higher level of security for both children and teachers.
Video surveillance cameras
By installing cutting-edge devices with cutting-edge technological capabilities and integrations, educators can enhance and improve on-site video surveillance systems by applying for grants for school security camera systems. To better monitor school boundaries and increase student safety, cloud-based IP cameras can enable security professionals to see live feeds remotely and change pan, tilt, and zoom controls.
Grants for school security can also be used to pay for intelligent software integrations, like AI-powered video surveillance analytics, to give security staff better-quality data that can be utilized to locate possible dangers much more quickly. Safe school grants, for instance, might assist in funding AI-powered video analytics that allow security teams and first responders to quickly sift through hours of film in order to discover a person or vehicle of interest so they can respond more quickly.
Integrations with environmental sensor systems can also be used to alert security personnel to the presence of potentially harmful incidents so they can review live footage recorded by nearby cameras to decide whether a response is required. This can be done by using software notifications or radio communication.
Access control and locking systems
To stop intruders and unauthorized people from threatening kids and employees, grants for school security upgrades can be utilized to install new or upgrade current access control equipment.
Improved classroom security locks, such as smart locks and remotely operated locks, that can contain more sophisticated controls to prevent unwanted entry as well as safety features to help with lockdowns, can be purchased using school security money for K–12 schools. With some systems offering greater scheduling and remote management capabilities, upgrading outside door access control is also a strong contender for school security grant funds.
Modern gadgets with mobile credentials can be utilized on college and university campuses to grant students individualized access via their phones. With the help of this technology, staff members can keep an eye on, change, and revoke rights in high-risk locations including labs, libraries, gyms, and computer labs to stop infiltration events.
These security systems can also be integrated with door locking mechanisms to create full-site lockdown procedures that allow security teams to immediately secure schools in the event of an emergency. Touchless access also helps to prevent the spread of disease by limiting contact with high-touch surfaces.
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Panic buttons, alarms and sensors
Grants for school security are frequently used to pay for the installation of panic buttons and integrated school alarm systems that speed up incident response times and notify students and staff of on-going problems. With 43% of schools now using panic buttons, up from 29% in 2018, these devices enable employees to notify authorities right away in the event of a critical emergency.
In order to build lockdown security measures, enhance processes, and improve emergency responses, educators may also choose to employ school security grants to fund the development of IoT alarm systems. IoT-enabled devices leverage internet connectivity to transmit data between linked systems, enabling security professionals to adopt a comprehensive approach to school safety by establishing automatic reactions such immediately closing access points when on-site alarms are detected.
With a variety of specialized devices available to improve reactions to certain occurrences, this concept can be expanded to include the installation and use of smart environmental sensors. For instance, temperature sensors can be used to make sure that server rooms and food storage areas remain within safe ranges. Noise detection sensors can alert staff of suspected break-ins, bullying incidents, or acts of vandalism by triggering automatic alerts in response to loud noises like glass breaking or shouting.
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Types of grants for school safety equipment
In 2023, a sizable number of government grants for school security and grants for charitable school safety are accepting applications, while the requirements for each grant program may vary depending on the sponsor. Educators can search for funding alternatives based on their particular needs and specifications using the School Safety Grants Search Tool. To help you find grants more quickly, we’ve also provided some brief details on some popular ones below.
ESSER Funding for School Security
To help local education agencies prepare for, avoid, and respond to the effects of COVID-19 in schools, ESSER monies for school security can be used. ARP funds for schools are authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) education funding act and are meant to be used for initiatives and tools that address the learning loss that students are experiencing as a result of the pandemic. At least 20% of the funds awarded must go toward social, emotional, and academic support.
How to apply for 2023 school security grants
School administrators would normally be expected to produce and submit a thorough grant proposal document to a predetermined local or state body describing the intended purpose for the funding when applying for school security grants funded by the US government or government-affiliated organisations. The technology, training courses, and procedures that will be purchased with the grant money should be specified in the application for school security grants in 2023.
School administrators are required to persuade the awarding authority that all technologies, training programs, procedures, and positions paid for with grant funds are reasonably related to the primary goal of the chosen grant program. All goods and services purchased with safety grants for schools must comply with the guidelines and rules set forth in the grant program’s application criteria.
Several school security grant programs require educators to match a portion of the project’s overall cost from their own budgeted resources or privately donated monies, a procedure known as a cash match. School administrators in this situation must be ready to explain where these money are kept and to offer evidence that the institution can easily produce the funds in question.
For instance, if a school is qualified for a grant of $200,000 with a 50% cash match, a $400,000 project would be suggested, with the school contributing $200,000 with local funds.
Tips for writing school safety grants
Most federal school security grants and grant programs will accept new applications for school security funding once per year, with applicants required to assemble a dedicated grant proposal team tasked with performing a considerable amount of research and planning if they’re to produce a successful application.
School security systems grants and other similar sources of school safety funding are highly competitive, with most awarding bodies receiving a much larger number of applications than the available funds can possibly cover, meaning it’s crucial that school officials take the time to write a well-researched proposal.
Carefully consider grant requirements
A typical school safety grant program will present prospective applicants with a Request for Funding Proposal (RFP) or a Notice of Funding Availability (NFA) at the start of the application process. This document is used to outline the specific criteria applicants must meet to successfully secure funding.
School safety grants that receive a large number of applications will often look for quick ways to reject proposals to streamline assessment processes, meaning documents written using the wrong font size or proposals missing requested supporting evidence may be rejected on sight without ever being read.
To ensure that all submitted grant proposals are appropriately considered, school officials are advised to print out a copy of the RFP or NFA and highlight each critical submittal detail for reference, including:
Formatting and document length
Supporting evidence and signed forms
Appeal to selection criteria
Most authorities awarding safety grants for schools will measure the quality of proposals by comparing the submitted content to the specific criteria outlined in their own RFP or NFA document. These criteria will generally relate to how relevant the school’s proposal is to the core purpose of the grant and whether the school has the resources required to ensure that the project will be successful. Consider the following:
How will the proposed project be developed and managed, and by whom?
How severe is the issue that the requested funding intends to address?
How will the proposed project address this issue?
What measurable impact will the project have on the school districts?
How qualified are the staff intending to carry out the project?
School officials should work to structure all grant proposals to comprehensively answer these questions.
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