Shortly after the Parkland, Florida shooting that cost 17 people their lives, the government proposed the STOP School Violence Act to establish better security resources for schools. While one bill alone would never be enough to cover all the needs of our schools, it helped drive state, local and even private awareness of school security. Grants for school safety enhancements are gaining a lot of attention from law makers and that benefits administrators.
The Texas Education Agency recently requested $54 million in school safety initiatives over the next two years, a request that received extensive bipartisan support. This support means administrators may soon have more access to grants than ever before, though navigating the process amid all the new programs could prove challenging. What follows is an overview for finding grants to fund security updates for your school.
Resources for Finding Grants For School Security Improvements
School administrators may often find they aren’t even aware of grants until after the opportunity has passed. This is because these programs aren’t always heavily publicized until the application process is well under way. To get a jump on the 2019 application processes, here are a few popular programs Texas school administrators should look to for funding.
Program: STOP School Violence Act
This federal program is set to provide about $100 million over the next ten years. It covers a broad list of school security enhancements, for everything from training to technology, intervention, and assessments.
Program: The COPS Office School Violence Prevention Program
This federal program provides funding for schools to improve their security coordination efforts with local law enforcement. It also covers the installation of deterrent features like locks, metal detectors, and security cameras.
Program: Texas Education Agency grants
The Texas Education Agency administers a wide range of awards for schools in the state, to include subsidies for safety updates. Administrators should review the site regularly for opportunities as TEA manages state and federal programs.
The process of finding and applying for grants is cumbersome and requires extensive paperwork. For that reason, many school administrators should use their security integrator as a resource in locating options for funding improvements.
Using a Security Integrator as a Resource in Finding Grants
At 3Sixty Integrated, we work with grants for school security improvements on a regular basis. We’re familiar with the ins and outs of the process. We even directly work with third-party grant support programs to streamline the process.
Grant support programs specialize in obtaining funding for public sector projects. Schools using this process can work backward when compared to other programs, where schools submit a request for funding and then seek out vendors once funds are approved. School security grant support programs work as follows.
- Establish the highest priority needs. The school may need to update active shooter protocols or build a better surveillance system due to issues with vandalism. In either case, they often have a single primary purpose in seeking security expertise.
- Get a full school security system review. The school administrator can take that concern to their integrator. This integrator should complete a full inventory of all existing systems—even if they aren’t directly connected to the original issue. In doing this, integrators find opportunities. They may connect specific systems to allow them to work as a cohesive unit and cover more ground. The integration evaluation often saves costs on updates as it eliminates the need to replace or add devices.
- Take the review to the grant support agency. The integrator’s report is matched with funding opportunities via a third-party grant support program. This way, the school administrator can access both large funding initiatives as well as smaller private grants of which they may have been unaware.
It’s much easier to obtain grants for school security improvements when the administrator can go in with exact knowledge of their needs. Working through an integrator like 3Sixty Integrated and a grant support program, administrators streamline the grant process and only apply for precisely the funding needed. We know that navigating school security grant programs can be cumbersome and time-consuming. An experienced security integrator helps simplify the process by leveraging partnerships with grant support providers.
3Sixty Integrated works with an excellent grant support program to provide our education industry clients with funding updates and system integration. Our technicians create electronic security systems to address your school’s biggest concerns cost effectively. For more information, call (210) 545-1770 or fill out our contact form.