Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) announced today (Wednesday October 2) that both Scott County Schools and the Oneida Special School District will receive a total of $280,000 in School Resource Officer Grants from the Tennessee Department of Education to improve school safety. These funds will be used for an increase of 5 SROs in Scott County Schools, and 3 SROs in Oneida schools. The SRO Grant Program in part of the state’s School Safety Grant Program, established in 2018 by the General Assembly.
Announcement of the grant follows passage of legislation earlier this year which doubled recurring funds in the state’s School Safety Grant Program from $10 million to $20 million. In addition, a $20 million investment was appropriated in non-recurring funds, for a total of $40 million for the 2019-2020 fiscal year to prioritize student safety and SROs.
Senator Yager was a sponsor of the legislation. “I was glad to support these grants for school safety and am pleased that local school districts will benefit from these funds,” said Sen. Yager. “This legislation is making a huge difference in how we approach school safety as we move forward in keeping our students and teachers safe.”
As a result of the General Assembly’s work to make Tennessee schools safer, all 147 Tennessee public school districts submitted risks and vulnerabilities assessments as part of the School Safety Grant Program. The grants have been utilized to make both major and minor school safety improvements, ranging from better door locks and updated visitor screening procedures, to adding mental health staff positions.
The SRO grants are awarded on a rolling basis throughout the year, and the application deadline for other school systems to apply in December 16, 2019. Eligible districts, those districts with schools that did not have a full-time school resource officer during the 2018-19 school year, have until December 16th to complete their application. For an overview of school safety funding, please visit the Department’s website.