department of justice

School Districts Can Now Apply For Department of Justice’s 2020 School Security Grants

Deadlines for the school security improvement funding are fast approaching, with districts needing to submit materials by mid to late April.

Tens of millions of dollars in Department of Justice school security grants are now available to school districts across the country, according to U.S. attorney’s offices who announced the grants on Friday.

West Virginia U.S. Attorney Bill Powell said that more than $83 million in funding would be available for schools to upgrade security technology and facilities in order to better protect their students and staff.

“No child, parent, or educator should be afraid of anything that happens inside school walls,” Powell said in a statement. “We must do everything we can to prevent violence at our schools. I hope that our educational leaders apply for funding to make their schools safer places to learn.”

A number of funding opportunities are now open for applications, including districts seeking grants for research and evaluation on school safety and the development of strategies to support children exposed to violence.

The largest grant program available is the STOP Act School Violence Program, which plans to give out $71.4 million in funding. All three programs have deadlines in April. (For links to the grant programs, click here).

The funding is made available on an annual basis from the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs, often referred to as OJP. Last year, schools around the U.S. received about $85.3 million in funding from school violence programs run through OJP. Katharine T. Sullivan, the principal deputy assistant attorney general for OJP, said that combating school violence is among the federal government’s “top domestic priorities.”

“The Department of Justice is front and center in the fight to meet this challenge,” Sullivan said. “OJP is making historic amounts of grant funding available to ensure that our communities have access to innovative and diverse solutions.”

In previous years, school administrators have complained that they did not know about the funding opportunities and therefore did not apply for OJP grants. One report found that less than 5 percent of North Texas school districts applied for the funding in 2019, mostly due to lack of knowledge about availability and deadlines.

About the Author

Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.

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