Lake County schools receive $2.1 million in safety grants
Feb. 21—The Ohio K-12 School Safety Grant Program recently announced its fourth round of funding totaling more than $2.1 million of support for Lake County schools.
State Rep. Jamie Callender, R-Concord Township, confirmed every Lake County school that applied has received funding.
"Ensuring that our children have a safe environment to learn in is a goal shared by all Ohio parents," Callender stated in a news release. "With grant funding such as this, schools have the resources to achieve their goals. As we head into the 135th General Assembly, I will continue to work on not only keeping our children safe but giving them all the tools they need to succeed."
The funding will provide support for physical safety and security enhancements and upgrades.
According to officials, the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, in coordination with the division of Ohio Homeland Security of the Department of Public Safety, is authorized to make competitive grant awards to public schools for eligible security improvements that assist the schools to improve overall security and safety.
Across the county, 30 schools applied for the fourth round of grant funding, bringing Lake County's total to more than $3.6 million across 65 schools receiving funds through the program.
State Rep. Daniel Troy, D-Willowick, announced funding for school safety support totaling $407,159 for five schools serving his district.
The funding was allocated through a grant program by the Ohio General Assembly as part of House Bill 45 as well as the American Rescue Plan Act which was passed by Congress in 2021.
The five schools serving Troy's district receiving the most recent round of funds are Mater Dei Academy ($100,000); Bellflower Elementary School ($64,182); Lake Elementary School ($67,977); Ridge Elementary School ($100,000); and St. Mary of the Assumption ($75,000).
"Unfortunately, too many incidents over the past few years have alerted us to the need for improved school safety precautions and advanced security mechanisms to keep our kids and teachers out of harm's way," Troy said.
"I'm pleased that we were able to reach a bipartisan agreement in passing legislation in late 2022 to create this pool of state and federal dollars to fund another round of school safety grants for buildings that were not funded in earlier distributions."
Most of the other school buildings in Troy's district received school safety grant dollars in earlier distributions from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.
A total of $112 million to more than 900 schools was allocated by the Ohio General Assembly in December of 2022 as part of House Bill 45.
"When we created the K-12 School Safety Grant Program, we expected that the need for funding would far exceed the amount of money available, but I vowed to go back to the legislature and ask for more," Gov. Mike DeWine stated in a news release.
The grant program was initially created in the previous state operating budget with additional funding authorized to provide a total of $173 million in funding.
DeWine has also created the Student Wellness and Success Fund, a $1.2 billion investment that is now a part of the school funding formula, to provide wraparound services to students, programming, and supports meant to "build skills and fulfill a student or familial need."
To date, the funding has launched 1,300 mental health programs and trained 6,500 educators and school professionals.
As part of his executive budget proposal presented to the Ohio General Assembly earlier this month, DeWine is also requesting funding to help schools with the cost of staffing school resource officers.
Funding for this program came from a mix of ARPA dollars and state general revenue funds. DeWine's office reported that the remaining $44 million will be released in the fifth round of funding.
Additional Lake County schools receiving funds
—Auburn Career Center — $100,000
—Educational Service Center of the Western Reserve — $100,000
—Cardinal Autism Resource and Education School — $83,697
—Fairfax Elementary School — $71,389
—Hopkins Elementary School — $61,170
—Mentor Memorial Middle School — $100,000
—Mentor High School — $100,000
—Orchard Hollow Elementary School — $71,989
—Shore Middle School — $100,000
—Sterling Morton Elementary School — $77,009
—Chestnut Elementary School — $52,034
—Elm Street Elementary School — $54,835
—Harvey High School — $50,000
—Heritage Middle School — $50,000
—Maple Elementary School — $50,955
—Perry Elementary School — $50,000
—Perry High School — $50,000
—Perry Middle School — $50,000
—Buckeye Elementary School — $50,000
—LaMuth Middle School — $50,000
—Melridge Elementary School — $50,000
—Riverside Jr/Sr High School — $50,000