SCRANTON, October 4, 2018 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today announced that five school districts in the 22nd Senatorial District have been awarded over $150,000 in Safe Schools Targeted Grants.

The local grant funding is part of an $8.4 million investment announced today by Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera and Governor Tom Wolf to increase safety and security in our schools.

“I applaud the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Wolf Administration for their continued focus on our schools, our students and their safety,” Blake said. “This important grant funding will allow schools across the Commonwealth to purchase security-related equipment and hire School Police Officers which will protect learning environments and ensure every student returns home safely.”

Both Scranton and Riverside School Districts in Lackawanna County received equipment grants which will allow the purchase of security-related equipment to increase safety at school. Scranton School District will receive $25,000 and Riverside School District will receive $20,206 in state funding. Equipment eligible for purchase with grant funding includes identification systems, metal detectors, protective lighting, surveillance equipment, emergency communications equipment and training in the use of security-related technology.

Carbondale Area, Valley View and Pittston Area each received funding for the training and compensation of School Police Officers (SPOs), who are employed directly by the school districts. Carbondale Area will receive $39,500, Valley View School District will receive $30,240 and Pittston Area will receive $39,690 in grant funding. School districts were eligible to receive a maximum of $40,000 in SPO funding for Year 1 and $20,000 for year two.

Blake noted that the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Safe Schools grant program is separate from the new $60 million School Safety and Security Grants program created earlier this year. Schools can still apply for those grants through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency through October 12. 

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