COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced recently that he is extending the deadline for eligible Ohio schools to claim their share of millions of dollars in school safety training grants.
Attorney General DeWine announced in September that all of Ohio’s public schools, chartered nonpublic schools, and schools operated by county boards of developmental disabilities were eligible to receive a portion of $12 million in grants to pay for school safety programs and training.
More than 1,700 Ohio schools and school districts qualified for grants totaling between $2,500 and $283,000, depending on school enrollment. As of yesterday’s original grant application deadline, only 63 percent of eligible schools had claimed their funds, and approximately $2.8 million in grant funding was left unclaimed.
In an effort to encourage more school districts to collect their grant allotments, Attorney General DeWine is now extending the application deadline to Friday, Nov. 30, 2018.
“As Ohio’s attorney general, it has always been my mission to support schools in their efforts to protect Ohio’s children,” said Attorney General DeWine. “I’m extending this deadline because every eligible school is entitled to thousands of dollars to help ensure the safety of its students. I encourage school administrators who have not yet sent in their funding applications to do so right away.”
A list of eligible schools that did not submit applications by Nov. 1’s initial deadline can be found at https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/OHAG/2018/11/02/file_attachments/1100776/No%20Application%20Received.pdf .
Attorney General DeWine sent a letter to administrators for every eligible school and school district in September with instructions on how to claim the grant funds. Administrators with questions should email SchoolSafetyGrants@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or call 614-466-6963.
Schools have the flexibility to use the grant money for school resource officer training, safety and security materials, programs to identify and help students struggling with mental health, and more.
The grants are funded with appropriations made by the Ohio legislature as part of House Bill 318. The bill, which was sponsored by state representatives Sarah LaTourette (R-Chesterland) and John Patterson (D-Jefferson), appointed the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to develop the school safety training grant program in consultation with the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
The law requires that participating schools and county boards work with law enforcement in their jurisdictions to determine the best use of the grant funding.
Since taking office in 2011, Attorney General DeWine has taken several measures to enhance school safety across the state. In addition to training thousands of educators, Attorney General DeWine’s Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy has trained more than 14,000 law enforcement officers on preparing for and responding to active shooter threats.
Attorney General DeWine’s Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy also recently produced “Active Shooter Response: An Educator’s Guide” to aid educators in preparing for and reacting to a potentially violent school incident, such as a school shooting. Special agents with the Attorney General’s Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) are also now available to take free aerial photographs of school buildings for inclusion in school emergency management plans.
Attorney General DeWine also worked with schools across the state to achieve greater compliance on school safety plans and convened a School Safety Task Force that issued dozens of school safety recommendations. The task force recognized that mental health awareness was essential for schools to identify and intervene with students who may be at risk.