Gov. Mike DeWine announces $68 million in Ohio school safety grants
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine was in Lakewood Thursday to announce $68 million in grants to improve security measures at schools across the state.
“It’s a beautiful area," DeWine said, looking at a set of huge windows that overlook Lakewood High School's cafeteria.
Lakewood High is one of 945 schools across the state to receive money from this round of Ohio School Safety Grants. One of the projects the school plans to put the money toward is making those windows bulletproof.
"Yeah, it will definitely make us feel a little better as things have happened over the years," Superintendent Maggie Niedzwiecki said.
Lakewood also plans to use the funding to update locks and to improve communication between its school resource officers and law enforcement.
"The security upgrades that will be made as a result of the grant will help to delay and deter any incident of violence in our schools, which in turn will hopefully enable our officers to arrive on scene and before any students or staff are confronted with violence," Lakewood Police Chief Kevin Kaucheck said.
This is the fourth round of funding for the Ohio School Safety Grants. The grant project has given out $173 million before this round. But not every school that applied received funding.
"This means that every qualifying school that applied for funding but did not get it will now receive a grant for the upgrades needed to make their schools safer," DeWine said.
This round of funding totals $112 million, with $44 million left to distribute in the coming weeks.
“Our total will be over 2,300 school grants that will be given out," DeWine said.
The grants are funded through House Bill 45, which DeWine signed into law last month. His proposed budget, announced this week, also addresses school safety, including the many districts that can't afford to hire school resource officers.
"That's why part of the budget that I've just submitted to the General Assembly proposes that we offer funding support to public and private schools in Ohio that want a school resource officer," DeWine said.
Also in the proposed budget is money for school and student wellness, which is important in preventing violence in schools, DeWine said.
"If you go back and look at school shootings, many times if you go back and look at what that school shooter had done, he had given warnings that should have been picked up and were not picked up," DeWine said. "So part of it is training everybody to look for what can be a warning."