(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today that the state is awarding 27 institutions of higher education a total of $5 million in grants to fund security enhancements on their campuses.
“The commitment to school safety is one that I take seriously,” said Governor DeWine. “By awarding these grants, campuses can go beyond identifying areas that need to be improved by developing and executing plans that promote the wellbeing of staff and students.”
The awarded funds are part of the 2021 Campus Safety Grant Program funded as part of Senate Bill 310 of the 133rd General Assembly. The Ohio School Safety Center reviewed the campus safety grant applications in consultation with the Ohio Department of Higher Education, and the Ohio Controlling Board approved the release of the funds today.
“I want to thank the Governor and the General Assembly for their leadership and for making campus safety a priority,” said Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner. “It is important as we begin a new school year to provide this opportunity to enhance security and make our campuses even safer for students, staff, and families.”
“The safety and security upgrades will assist campus law enforcement agencies and area first responders better prepare for and respond quicker to emergencies,” said Ohio Department of Public Safety Director Tom Stickrath.
To be eligible for grant funding, schools conducted a security and vulnerability assessment to identify potential areas for improvement. Eligible expenses include but are not limited to improved lighting in parking lots, security cameras at building entrances, and secure doors.
The Campus Safety Grant Program is one of two new school safety programs launched by the Ohio School Safety Center this year. The 2021 K-12 School Safety Grant Program, administered in partnership with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC), will award an additional $5 million to qualifying public K-12 schools for similar school safety expenses. Eligible school districts are being contacted by OFCC today via email. Grant applications will be accepted until November 1, 2021, with awardees being announced in early 2022. Additional information on the K-12 School Safety Grant Program is available at ofcc.ohio.gov.
Governor DeWine created the Ohio School Safety Center in 2019. It is housed in the Ohio Homeland Security Division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety and works to assist local schools, colleges and universities, and law enforcement agencies to prevent, prepare for, and respond to threats and acts of violence, including self-harm, through a holistic, solutions-based approach to improving school safety.
Institutions of higher education receiving a grant are: