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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: June 7, 2019 09:31 AM
From: Senator James R. Brewster
To: All Senate members
Subject: Baseline Requirements for School Safety and Security Grants
In the near future I plan on introducing legislation to make changes to the School Safety and Security Grant Program that was part of Act 44 of 2018.

On April 30, 2019, the School Safety and Security Committee (Committee) approved the remainder of the $60 million made available for school safety and community violence as part of the 2018-19 budget. Now that the first year of grant awards have been made, I believe we should amend Act 44 to include several other factors for future grant awards.

In my view, the criteria for application approval should be adjusted to enable school districts to qualify for funding in three broad areas: physical security, mental health and environmental protection.
My legislation would require the Committee to establish baselines for school entities throughout the commonwealth. The baselines will identify basic requirements for all schools focused on physical security, mental health and environmental.

Every school entity would be required to meet the baseline requirements. Funding for school entities to meet the baseline will be paid from the School Safety and Security Grant Program. School entities may go above the established baseline if they wish; however, priority of funding will be given to those districts who are below baseline.

The Committee will also be required to review the baselines for all three categories each year to see if any adjustments are necessary. Additionally, this legislation would require audits by the Auditor General to ensure that school entities are making progress on reaching baseline.
I hope you will join me in making these changes to Act 44 to ensure that children will be learning in a safe, educational environment.

Please contact my office if you have any questions.

Introduced as SB788