Harkins, Merski: Nearly $53,000 to fund Erie school safety resources

ERIE, Oct. 18 – Erie schools are receiving three grants totaling $52,850 to fund safety-related upgrades, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie, announced today.

The legislators said the funding includes $24,240 to the Erie City School District for security-related equipment, $24,935 to Erie County Technical School for security-related equipment, and $3,675 to Bethel Christian School for safety-related programs.

“After 20 years in the classroom, I know from a teacher’s perspective how important a secure, supportive learning environment is to allow kids to focus, thrive and learn,” Merski said. “The funding announced today is great news for our schools because it allows them to move forward with specific plans they’ve developed to promote this kind of environment.”

Harkins agreed, adding, “School safety is about protecting our kids’ physical well-being, but it’s also about making sure they feel secure. The resources made possible by these grants will help keep fear out of the classroom.”

The grants are part of a package of $7.2 million in competitive 2019-20 Safe Schools Targeted Grants from the state Department of Education.

The funding – awarded to both public and non-public schools throughout the commonwealth – is designed to help schools prevent or curb violence, purchase safety and security-related equipment, and provide for the training and compensation of school resource and police officers.

A list of grant recipients and amounts is available by visiting the Office for Safe Schools webpage on the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s website.