LA CROSSE, Wis. – Attorney General Brad Schimel today announced 23 schools and school districts that combined will receive $1,583,821 from the first round of the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) School Safety Grant program. Recently, Attorney General Schimel announced plans for a second round of grant funding by utilizing the approximately $45 million in remaining school safety money available. The second round of funding will focus on advanced initiatives to bolster student mental health, the creation of local School Safety Intervention teams, and additional physical security upgrades. K-12 schools, both public and private, are encouraged to apply for the next round of grants, which will be awarded starting in October.
“Across the state of Wisconsin, parents should be confident that when they send their children to school this fall, their kids will be going to the safest schools in the nation,” said Attorney General Schimel. “Thanks to a renewed partnership between educators, mental health professionals, and law enforcement, communities will be more ready than ever to respond to a crisis and keep kids happy and safe in their school.”
A list of schools and school districts that were awarded school safety grants on July 25, 2018 is at the bottom of this press release. More grants will be awarded to schools that applied for the first round of grant funding soon.
In March 2018, the Wisconsin State Legislature and Governor Scott Walker to passed and signed 2017 Wisconsin 143 into law, establishing the DOJ Office of School Safety and providing $100 million for school safety.735 schools and school districts, 97% of public schools and approximately 40% of private schools statewide, applied for the first round of funds, and all are expected to receive grant funding. Once all first round grant funds are approved, it is estimated that approximately $45 million will remain.
The second round of grant funding, utilizing the remaining $45 million, will advance baseline mental health and physical security improvements made in the first round of grant funding through advanced training for teachers on mental health; the creation of local teams of educators, counselors, and law enforcement to develop School Safety Intervention Teams that will assess threats and identify students in need of support; and additional physical security upgrades. Schools interested in applying for the second round of grant funding must submit a mandatory “intent to apply” to the OSS by August 13, 2018.
Schools applying for the second round of grant funding must agree to send 10 percent of full-time teachers and counselors to DOJ-approved 12-hour Adolescent Mental Health training by August 31, 2020, and schools may use grant funds to pay expenses incurred (tuition, travel, lodging, meals, substitute teacher pay, etc.). Schools applying must also establish a School Safety Intervention Team (SSIT), based on a model set by the U.S. Secret Service, which will engage in behavior monitoring, threat assessments, and intervention. Funding will also be available for more physical security improvements.
Schools and school districts that applied for the first round of grants are eligible for the second round of grants, and will apply for the second round through a simplified grant application process. Schools and school districts that did not apply for the first round of grants are eligible for the second round of grants, but will need to satisfy all prerequisites of the first round and second round of grant funding.
Under the second round of grant funding, grant funding will be awarded on a per-student formula, according to student enrollment as reported to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). No awardee will receive less than $10,000 nor receive more than $2.5 million, in order to ensure all applicants receive sufficient funding to make meaningful physical security improvements. The final award amount will depend on the number and size of schools that apply. Interested schools can find more information on the DOJ Office of School Safety website.
Highlights from the school safety grant applications being awarded on July 25, 2018 from the first round of grant funding include such improvements as:
· Training for all staff on Trauma Informed Care (TIC), Trauma Sensitive Schools (TSS), Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), Peaceful Warriors, PREPaRE, Violence and Bullying Prevention, Threat Assessment and Active Shooter Response training (ALICE);
· Secure the entry areas, sidelites, and interior classroom windows with shatter resistant film, updated doors and locks;
· Purchase and utilize the STOPit anonymous reporting system;
· Install electronic access control system.
“The School District of Hillsboro would like to join the schools across the state of Wisconsin in thanking Governor Walker, Attorney General Schimel, our local legislators and the Department of Justice for making these funds available ” said Hillsboro Superintendent Curt. “I would also like to thank Hillsboro Police Chief Pat Clark and the Vernon County Sheriffs department for their assistance with our school safety planning and grant application. These funds will allow us to continue to take strides in securing our facilities for our students and staff.”
DOJ has consulted with numerous stakeholders in the fields of education, security, law enforcement, and mental health. These specialists, listed at the end of this press release, worked with DOJ’s own security experts to develop how the School Safety Grant Initiative will create sustainable improvements in Wisconsin schools. Grant applicants are required to partner with law enforcement agencies to ensure that proposed expenditures, visitor protocols, and school safety plans will be effective and provide students with the safest learning environment possible.
In addition to helping keep schools safe from violent attacks, DOJ will be closely monitoring for behavior that could affect a school’s ability to pay market rates for products like door locks and shatter-resistant film for glass. DOJ will review and investigate any instances of inappropriate pricing behavior so the benefits of the program are not reduced.
Following is a list of organizations who have met with DOJ staff, and consulted on the creation of the Office of School Safety and the grant process and criteria.
· Association of Wisconsin School Administrators
· Badger State Sheriffs Association
· CESA 4, 7, 10
· Federal Bureau of Investigation
· Wisconsin Association of School Boards
· Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials
· Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators
· Wisconsin Association of School Nurses
· Wisconsin Catholic Conference
· Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association
· Wisconsin Council of Administrators of Special Services
· Wisconsin Council of Religious and Independent Schools
· Wisconsin Department of Administration
· Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
· Wisconsin Education Association Council
· Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association
· Wisconsin Juvenile Officers Association
· Wisconsin Professional Police Association
· Wisconsin Retired Educators’ Association
· Wisconsin Safe and Healthy Schools Training & Technical Assistance Center
· Wisconsin School Music Association/Wisconsin Music Educators Association
· Wisconsin School Psychologists Association
· Wisconsin School Public Relations Association
· Wisconsin School Safety Coordinators Association
· Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association
For more information on DOJ’s Office of School Safety, please visit: https://www.doj.state.wi.us/office-school-safety/office-school-safety