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Parkland, Northwestern Lehigh awarded student safety grants

Parkland and Northwestern Lehigh school districts were among several local schools in the 16th Senatorial District awarded state grants Oct. 30 to help improve student safety through a new program supported by Senate Appropriations Chairman state Sen. Pat Browne, R-16th.

Other local grant recipients include: Allentown, East Penn, Northern Lehigh and Southern Lehigh school districts.

The School Safety and Security Grant Program was created by lawmakers earlier this year to provide grants to school districts, intermediate units, area vocational-technical schools, charter schools and private residential rehabilitative institutions for a wide variety of projects to improve school safety.

Eligible uses for the grants include hiring school security officers, purchasing security-related technology, completing safety and security assessments, implementing violence prevention curricula, offering counseling services for students, and creating other programs to protect students.

Each local school district that applied through the program was awarded a grant of $25,000.

“These grants would not have been possible without the bipartisan cooperation of lawmakers and the valuable input of schools, teachers, students, law enforcement, and other experts in school safety,” Browne said. “Ensuring a safe learning environment was a top priority of mine during the 2018-19 budget process, and I am grateful that our local schools will soon see the benefits of this new grant program.”

The new program was created as part of a comprehensive school safety bill signed into law in June.

More than $60 million in new funding was dedicated in the current year’s budget to improve school safety, Browne said.

More information on school safety measures is available at pasenategop.com/school-safety.