COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine announced Tuesday that more than 1,000 K-12 schools across the state will receive assistance to pay for security upgrades.
While speaking at the Ohio School Safety Summit in Columbus, DeWine said 1,183 schools in 81 counties will receive nearly $47 million in grant funding as part of his Ohio K-12 School Safety Grant Program.
According to a press release from DeWine’s office, grants will equal the amount requested by each school up to $50,000.
The funds will be used to cover expenses associated with physical security enhancements including security cameras, public address systems, automatic door locks, visitor badging system and exterior lighting.
"With the start of the new school year quickly approaching, we want students, staff, and parents to know that we care about school safety, and we're working every day to make sure that rural, urban, and suburban schools alike have the safety and security resources they need," said Governor DeWine. "Helping schools pay for important security improvements is just one component of our comprehensive school safety approach that also supports the mental wellbeing of our kids and the work of local law enforcement to prevent crime."
The Ohio K-12 School Safety Grant Program was launched in 2021 with $5 million awarded to 98 schools in 27 counties. This year, DeWine and the legislature increased the grant program by an additionally $100 million with support from the American Rescue Plan Act.
The schools selected this year to receive funding each applied for but did not receive funds as part of the initial $5 million.
The Ohio School Safety Center (OSSC) will begin accepting applications soon for the remaining $53 million in funds from the program.
According to DeWine’s office, schools that have not yet applied for funding or whose applications were ineligible in previous rounds will be given first priority.
Additionally, DeWine announced Mary Davis, former executive director of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, has been selected to serve as the as chief training officer overseeing OSSC's new Safety & Crisis Division.
The Safety & Crisis Division was created as part of House Bill 99, which DeWine signed into law in June. The division will be responsible for developing and providing training for school staff members whose districts opt to allow them to be armed on school grounds.