Emergency Preparedness, Emerging Issues in Security, Facility Security, Policies and Training

Ohio Awards $47M for School Security Upgrades

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced more than 1,000 K-12 schools across Ohio will receive state assistance to pay for security upgrades that enhance the safety of students and staff.

While speaking at the Ohio School Safety Summit on Aug. 2, DeWine said 1,183 schools in 81 counties will receive nearly $47 million in grant funding as part of the Ohio K-12 School Safety Grant Program.

Grants equal the amount requested by each school up to $50,000. Funds will be used to cover expenses associated with physical security enhancements such as security cameras, public address systems, automatic door locks, visitor badging systems, and exterior lighting. 

“With the start of the new school year quickly approaching, we want students, staff, and parents to know that we care about school safety, and we’re working every day to make sure that rural, urban, and suburban schools alike have the safety and security resources they need,” said DeWine. “Helping schools pay for important security improvements is just one component of our comprehensive school safety approach that also supports the mental well-being of our kids and the work of local law enforcement to prevent crime.”

DeWine first launched the K-12 School Safety Grant Program in 2021 with an appropriation of $5 million in Senate Bill 310 of the 133rd General Assembly, which was awarded in May to 98 schools in 27 counties. This year, the governor and legislature partnered to increase the grant program by an additional $100 million with support from the American Rescue Plan Act.

The 1,183 schools selected to receive funding each applied for but did not receive funds as part of the initial $5 million in grant awards. A full list of schools and corresponding grant awards is available here.

The Ohio School Safety Center (OSSC), in partnership with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, will begin accepting applications in the coming weeks for the $53 million in funds remaining in the K-12 School Safety Grant Program. Schools that have not yet applied for funding or whose applications were ineligible in previous rounds will be given first priority.

DeWine also announced that Mary Davis, former executive director of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, has been selected to serve as the as chief training officer overseeing OSSC’s new Safety & Crisis Division. House Bill 99, which was signed by DeWine in June, created the Safety & Crisis Division to develop and provide training for school staff members whose districts opt to allow certain employees to be armed on school grounds.

DeWine created the OSSC in 2019. It is housed at the Ohio Department of Public Safety and works to assist local schools, colleges, and universities, and law enforcement agencies to prevent, prepare for, and respond to threats and acts of violence, including self-harm, through a holistic, solutions-based approach to improving school safety.