Wheatley announces $291K in school safety grants, urges colleagues to do more to help schools, communities during ongoing pandemic

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 16 – While announcing $291,725 in Safe Schools Targeted Grants awarded to area schools, state Rep. Jake Wheatley is also renewing a call to do more to help schools and school districts impacted by inequities in funding and support that have been laid bare in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“While these grants will certainly help our schools’ efforts in providing a safe learning environment for students and staff, I also implore my colleagues in the House to work together to create a funding source to address the digital and racial divides that have been exposed during this ongoing pandemic,” said Wheatley. “We have many schools across our state that lack affordable, reliable broadband access, as well as the vital resources necessary to support our students and families in need who continue to struggle to make ends meet. We can and must continue to do more.”

The grants, awarded by the state Department of Education, are aimed toward preventing and reducing violence. The funds can also be used to purchase safety and security-related equipment and provide training and compensation of school resource and police officers.

Under this program, the PDE’s Office for Safe Schools offers four types of safety grants: equipment grants of up to $25,000; program grants of up to $20,000; school police officer grants of up to $40,000; and school resource officer grants of up to $60,000. The grants are designed to help schools:

  • Reduce unnecessary student disciplinary actions and promoting an environment of greater productivity, safety and learning.
  • Enhance anti-violence efforts among schools and parents, local governments, law enforcement and community organizations.

The Urban Pathways K-5 College Charter School was awarded a $25,000 equipment grant.

The following schools were awarded program grants:

  • Community Day School: $24,985.
  • Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh: $25,000.
  • Imani Christian Academy: $25,000.
  • Northside Catholic Assumption Academy: $24,985.
  • Sacred Heart Elementary School: $25,000.
  • St. Bede School: $18,900.
  • St. Benedict the Moor School: $24,995.
  • The Day School at The Children’s Institute: $22,860.
  • The Ellis School: $25,000.
  • Yeshiva Boys School: $25,000.
  • Yeshiva Girls School: $25,000.

Note: this program is separate from the School Safety and Security Grant program administer by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

For more information, please visit the following link: https://www.education.pa.gov/Schools/safeschools/fundinggrants/Pages/default.aspx.