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Parkland Sharing in $3.9 Million School Security Grant

Parkland one of three local schools getting state money for school security officers.

By Jack Tobias

The Parkland School District, Lehigh Career & Technical Institute and Colonial IU-20 in Northampton County are among the 81 schools, school districts and municipalities that will share $3.9 million in grants for hiring school resource officers and school police officers.

Created through legislation authored by state Sen. Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) and signed into law last year by Gov. Tom Corbett, the grant program provides funding for programs to address school violence and security, according to a release posted on the state Department of Education website.

"Recent acts of violence have shown that we clearly need to do everything within our ability to keep students and teachers safe in their learning environments," Scarnati said. "These grants ... will provide financial assistance for school resource officers and school police officers while allowing for local decision-making in order to provide the greatest level of security possible at our schools."

Eligible schools and municipalities were able to apply for up to $60,000 for a school resource officer and up to $40,000 for a school police officer, the release said.

Grant recipients are required to fund the officer's position for at least two years. Pending available funding for the 2014-15 school year, recipients will be eligible to receive 50 percent of their 2013-14 award without reapplying.

The following are the Lehigh Valley recipients:

--Lehigh Career & Technical Institute, $27,934

--Parkland School District, $58,153

--Colonial Regional IU-20 (applied for by Bushkill Township), $60,000.
John January 27, 2014 at 07:09 AM
"Grant recipients are required to fund the officer's position for at least two years. Pending available funding for the 2014-15 school year, recipients will be eligible to receive 50 percent of their 2013-14 award without reapplying.". So we will be adding additional personnel to the budget after year 1? Can we justify the security at the high school, while omitting the middle and elementary schools? Can taxpayers see where this is going? Will we need yet ANOTHER Vice Principal to monitor the Security guards? We already have but a single entry point into the school. Why build such a large facility and then limit access. Think, if someone wanted to gain access, they simply wait until someone walks out of another door...it's not rocket science! Inconvenience 4000 people every day, yet we are no more secure than before....or is the problem inside the school? Whole other issue.

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