$1.5 Million in School Security Funding to be Granted to Vermont State Schools

$1.5 Million in School Security Funding to be Granted to Vermont State Schools

Gov. Phil Scott announced that $1.5 million will be allocated to school security funding during the second cycle of grants. In the first cycle, $4 million was granted to 242 schools around the state.

Vermont school security funds will be lower this year, according to the Rutland Herald. Gov. Phil Scott announced the allocation of $1.5 million in funding for school security measures, which is over half of what was allocated last year during the first cycle of the grants. Last year, $4 million was allocated.

Sunni Eriksen, the school safety grants manager for Vermont Emergency Management (VEM), said in the first cycle, they ran out of funding for all the different projects due to the success of the program. She said this cycle was planned to be more open, allowing both private and independent, as well as public educational institutions to apply.

“Last year, this funded about 567 projects,” Eriksen said. “Grants are available only to folks who didn’t receive them last time.”

Eriksen said the state is taking a top down approach to increase school security, starting with a few key improvements.

“[We’re] working on an anonymous tip line, (and) increasing access to reporting,” Eriksen said. “There’s always more steps we can take.”

Last year, the $4 million in funding was allocated to 242 schools around the state, including Clarendon Elementary School, Fair Haven Grade school, and Fair Haven Union High School.

Superintendent Brooke Olsen-Farrell said in an email to the Rutland Herald that Fair Haven Grade School has some major improvements that will ensure the school’s security.

“We are looking at putting a visitor management system in place, we are relocating the main office at Fair Haven Grade School and adding catchment areas in many other school lobbies,” Olsen-Farrell said. “In addition, we have added additional security cameras and are ensuring that all of our schools’ phone systems are E911 compliant. We are also putting in a system for parking permits and implementing a comprehensive threat assessment process and working to revise our Emergency Operations Guides.”

About the Author

Kaitlyn DeHaven is the Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.