Good News Regarding School Safety Support

First, our Duluth Police Department and School District will receive $468,750 from the US Department of Justice 2018 COPS School Violence Prevention program. The funding is for school safety measures including coordination with law enforcement, training to prevent violence against others and self, and technology for expedited notification of law enforcement during an emergency, among others.

Second, the Minnesota Department of Education announced that Duluth Public Schools are among 90 Minnesota public school districts or charter schools awarded safety grants to be used for security and violence prevention improvements.

For this grant, we applied for about $1.7 million between all of our schools. Considering our buildings are relatively new and updated, I'm pleased the state awarded almost $71,000 in grant monies for additional work at Denfeld High School and at Rockridge Academy.

While we'd like to see additional funds for all our schools, we know MDE received over 1,100 complete applications requesting $255.5 million - more than 10 times the available amount of funding. This should send a strong message to legislators that more state dollars are needed to support school security.

Many thanks to Jeff Horton, Assistant Superintendent; Dave Spooner, Manager of Facilities; and Jason Barsness, Coordinator of Health, Safety, and Environmental Management for their work on these grants, and to the Duluth Police Department for their partnership.

We'll continue to look for ways to keep our schools as safe as possible - thanks for your support in this regard.