State ready to allocate new dollars to Tennessee school safety

Aug 21, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Tennessee schools are now one step closer to receiving the additional security funding promised to them by Gov. Bill Haslam and State Lawmakers.

Credit tnscore.org

The Tennessee General Assembly this spring approved about $25 million in one-time security grants. Legislators also added about five million new dollars to the existing security funds schools receive.

The funding was added in response to the Florida school shooting in February that left 17 students and staff dead.

Lamakers insisted that every school in the state update security reviews before getting the new money. Most school systems have now completed those assessments.

The state recently announced how many of the new safety dollars each school will receive. Nashville city schools, for example, will get roughly $2 million in recurring and one-time safety funding.

Rutherford County will now receive about $1.5 million in rucurring and one-time money.

James Evans with Rutherford County Schools says the system will use the grants to improve emergency communications, and for electronic access equipment on all 47 campuses.

“Especially those schools that have multiple buildings on one campus, the the issue of having unlocked doors is something that’s of a high priority. We want to make sure we can control access.”

Evans says student mental health has to be part of the equation when you talk about school security, so the new funding will also be used to hire two new therapists.

“We have counselors now that do these types of things but we’re getting so large that we need additional personell to assist with that so they’re not spread so thin.”

You can review what your school system is receiving in new security funding here.