New Jersey Seeks Security Funding for Non-Public Schools

New Jersey Seeks Security Funding for Non-Public Schools

The measure, A-4597, would help parochial and private schools pay security guards, purchase alarm systems and take other steps to improve security at a cost to the state of $11.3 million.

New Jersey is on track to double state funding for security at non-public schools, an effort that has gained momentum in the Legislature since the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting in October that left 11 people dead.

The measure, A-4597, would help parochial and private schools pay security guards, purchase alarm systems and take other steps to improve security at a cost to the state of $11.3 million. 

The Assembly budget committee unanimously approved the measure. To become law, it must next be signed by Gov. Phil Murphy. 

The state has been providing funding for security at public schools for several years. that amount has steadily increased from $25 per student to $75 per student in the current budget. The new bill would double that amount to $150 for each of the roughly 150,000 students at non-public schools.

Supporters of the measure, which include numerous Jewish, Christian and Muslim organizations, point our that event $150 per student is still less than the average of $205 per student that public schools receive for security purposes.

The legislation was introduced shortly before a man attacked the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27, shooting and killing 11 people. The attack prompted lawmakers to consider the measure on a faster timeline. 

The money for non-public schools would come out of the state's general fund. All expenses for non-public schools would have to be approved by officials in the local public school district.

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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  • Campus Security & Life Safety Magazine - September October 2019

    September/October 2019

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    • HERO Unit Provides School Security
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    • Run, Hide, and Let Law Enforcement Fight

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