Four local schools receive state grants for resource officer

Published Jan 27, 2014 at 1:59 pm (Updated Jan 27, 2014 at 1:59 pm)

Four local schools – Bethel Park, Chartiers Valley, South Fayette and Upper St. Clair – received grants through the state’s Safe Schools Targeted Grant, the School Police/Resource Officer Targeted Grant and School Resource Officer-Municipality Targeted Grant.

State Sen. Matt Smith, D-Mt. Lebanon, announced the grants Jan. 24.

“Those were four out of the 37 school districts in my district,” Smith.

The money will be used to fund or enhance school resources officers. Maximum funding of $60,000 will be used for a school resource officer and $40,000 in grant money may be used to fund and train a school police officer.

Bethel Park received $42,228, Chartiers Valley received $60,000, South Fayette was granted $40,939 and Upper St. Clair will receive $40,000.

Smith said the districts may use the grant money to fund either a school resource office or for a school police officer.

The grants were part of Act 70 of 2013.

Smith said the money was made available to help to create an environment that is not only safe, but is also conducive to learning.

According to an October letter to the superintendents requesting applications for the grants, priority was given to the districts that use a school resource officer who has completed additional training recommended by the state Department of Education, and to those schools that have not employed a school police officer within the previous three years.

In all, 81 school district and municipalities across the state received a portion of the $3.9 million.

“The safety of our children is the utmost concern to me, Sen. (Joe) Scarnati and members of the General Assembly,” said Gov. Tom Corbett. “This funding is the first step in providing schools with resources to ensure our students are learning in a safe and secure environment.”

All of the groups awarded a grant are required to assign school resource officers to schools for at least two years. Depending on available funds for the 2014-15 school year, those receiving grants will be eligible to receive 50 percent of their 2013-14 award without reapplying.

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