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I-Team: State provides funding for safety measures as schools prepare for new school year

MIAMI VALLEY — More than 30 schools in the Miami Valley are among the 1,181 schools across the state to receive state assistance to pay for security upgrades that enhance safety of students and staff.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced the recipients of the nearly $47 million in grant funding as part of his Ohio K-12 School Safety Grant Program Tuesday. 36 area schools were among the recipients.

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The funds will be used to cover expenses associated with physical security enhancements such as security cameras, public address systems, automatic door locks, visitor badging systems and exterior lighting.

“Helping schools pay for important security improvements is just one component of our comprehensive school safety approach that also supports the mental wellbeing of our kids and the work of local law enforcement to prevent crime,” DeWine said in a release.

Nate Brinkman, a father of four from Dayton, said school security is top of mind.

“Especially with all the shootings that you see and what not, you want to make sure your kids have a safe environment that they’re going to and that the schools are taking it seriously to keep the kids safe,” Brinkman said.

The 1,183 schools selected to receive funding each applied for, but did not receive funds as part of an initial $5 million in grant awards given out when the program launched in 2021. DeWine and the legislature joined together to increase the grant program by an additional $100 million with support from the American Rescue Plan Act.

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This is how funding announced Tuesday breaks down among the 36 area schools selected:

  • Ansonia Local - $150,000
  • Beavercreek - $161,276.97
  • Bellbrook-Sugarcreek - $200,000
  • Bellefontaine - $100,000
  • Benjamin Logan - $149,146.25
  • Bradford - $50,000
  • Cedar Cliff - $50,000
  • Centerville - $333,693
  • Coldwater - $50,000
  • Covington - $8,246.25
  • Fairlawn Local (Shelby County) - $50,000
  • Greenview Local (Greene County) - $50,000
  • Indian Lake - $114,216.79
  • Kettering - $83,137.10
  • Mechanicsburg - $150,000
  • Miamisburg - $56,624.25
  • Milton Union - $15,117
  • Minster Local – $100,000
  • Newton Local - $19,480
  • Northmont - $152,268
  • Northridge - $50,000
  • Oakwood - $145,769.72
  • Piqua - $222,686.76
  • Preble Shawnee - $50,000
  • Riverside Local (Logan County) - $50,000
  • Russia Local - $100,000
  • Sidney - $286,961.07
  • Springboro - $300,000
  • St. Marys - $77,172
  • Triad Local - $112,845.91
  • Tri Village Local - $75,000
  • Valley View - $50,000
  • Waynesfield-Goshen Local - $100,000
  • Wayne Local SD (Waynesville) - $100,000
  • West Liberty Salem - $100,000
  • Yellow Springs - $72,110.82

Noticeably missing from the list was Dayton Public Schools, the area’s largest district. News Center 7′s John Bedell reached out to the district and asked whether the they applied for any money or felt they need grants. As of Wednesday evening, we were still waiting on the district’s response.

We checked with Gov. Mike DeWine’s office about this and they confirmed to the I-Team that Dayton Public Schools did not apply for a grant.

“I think that every district that has the potential to get it should be looking for it and getting that money,” Brinkman said.

The Ohio School Safety Center (OSSC), in partnership with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, will begin accepting applications in the coming weeks for $53 million remaining in the K-12 School Safety Grant Program. Schools that have not yet applied for funding or whose applications were ineligible in previous rounds will be given first priority, according to a release.