$16 million available to help enhance school safety across the state
Bulloch County Schools will receive $93,286 from the state in Fiscal Year 2019, to enhance school safety. The Georgia General Assembly allocated $16 million in bond funding to provide every school district in the state a $25,000 safety grant plus additional grant funds based on the number of enrolled students.
“We will use these funds to provide safety improvements our principals and district personnel have already identified,” said Charles Wilson, Superintendent of Schools.
Earlier this school year Bulloch County Schools identified approximately $2 million in safety upgrades to its physical facilities and equipment as part of a proposed list of projects for a fourth education special local option sales tax (ESPLOST) referendum that was approved by voters in November 2017. These included upgrades to its existing software, security cameras, security lighting, security fencing, fire suppression, security walls and glass, intercom systems and bells, coded facility entry systems, clocks, and emergency radios.
According to the Georgia Department of Education, who officially notified districts about the funding, state law will require districts to use the funds for improvements or refurbishments to a district’s physical footprint (i.e. fencing, security doors) and/or equipment which can be capitalized (i.e. security camera systems, alarms).
The Board of Education, local public safety, district administrators, parents and concerned community members have been speaking more in depth about school safety since the nation’s most recent rise in school violence. In response, the district’s Student Support Department and principals are developing plans to better address the social and emotional needs of children, and the Board of Education voted unanimously on May 31, to identify the costs associated with placing school resource officers at each school. These were some of the main needs identified by parents and citizens during a series of four community conversations about school safety hosted by Superintendent Charles Wilson in March.