By State Sen. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper)
In 2013, the Indiana General Assembly passed legislation that created the Indiana Secured School Safety Grant Program (SSSG), a matching grant program that helps improve school safety in Hoosier schools.
During the 2019 legislative session, Senate Republicans worked diligently to improve school safety. Along with allocating $19.2 million into this SSSG program, Senate Enrolled Act 325 and House Enrolled Act 1004 expand the possible uses for the money.
SSSG funds can be used to:
· Employ a school resource officer or law enforcement officer;
· Conduct threat assessments;
· Purchase equipment that restricts access to the school or helps expedite notification of first responders;
· Support firearms training in districts that choose to implement such a program;
· Implement students and parents support services; and
· Fund the one-time startup costs of an active alert warning system.
Public school corporations, accredited non-public schools, charter schools or a coalition of school corporations, and/or charter schools can apply for the grants and are eligible for grants up to $100,000.
To date, the SSSG program has given more than $53 million in matching grants to Indiana school districts. In 2018, more than $14 million in matching grants were awarded to 388 schools or districts.
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security is accepting applications for the grant program through Aug. 2. Grant winners will be a announced by Sept. 1.
Like all of you, I believe Hoosier schools should be places where our children can learn and grow safely. The SSSG program helps ensure just that, giving local education leaders the resources they need to enact customized safety measures that effectively protect our children and faculty members.
I encourage our local schools to take advantage of this resource, and look forward to the positive impact it will have in communities across our state.
As always, feel free to contact my office directly with your questions and concerns by email at Senator.Messmer@iga.in.gov or by phone at 800-382-9467.