State to receive school safety grants
Photo by Éovart Caçeir.
Illinois will receive nearly $2 million in federal grants that aim to improve safety in the classroom through both emergency management and comprehensive prevention efforts that address students’ social and emotional needs, according to a press release.
The funds, funneled through two U.S. Department of Education grants, reflect ongoing state and national efforts to better prepare for school emergencies as well to improve methods of discipline and support for struggling students.
“These funds reflect an investment in safety and greater academic success,’’ State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch said. “Developing positive school climates and improving school discipline policies and practices are critical steps to raising academic achievement and supporting student success.”
The U.S. Department of Education awarded Illinois with two school-related grants:
- The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will receive $1,098,250 in funding for up to 18 months through the School Emergency Management Grant Program to help school districts develop and implement high-quality school emergency operations plans.
- The U.S. Department of Education’s School Climate Transformation Grant Program funds comprehensive efforts to reduce school violence through mental health services. In Illinois, nearly $800,000 will be distributed over the course of five years to the following three districts: Alton Community Unit School District 11 in Alton ($255,170), Zion Elementary School District 6 in Zion ($214,973) and Sandoval Community Unit School District 501 in Sandoval ($320,965).
Under the School Emergency Management Grant Program, Illinois will provide or expand training and technical assistance to school districts. ISBE is working in partnership with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) to improve safety in schools. These two agencies will establish the Illinois Educational Safety & Security Center (IESSC) to serve as clearinghouse for best practices, technical assistance and training.