In the effort to rapidly apply additional funding to items determined, as needed, by school professionals to improve school safety, the committee ushered through appropriations during this short session. The committee continues its work receiving information and data not previously collected relative to operational security of our schools. The committee will determine additional needs as presented during the post session interim for the upcoming 2019 long session.
That additional funding is listed below.
“These beginning investments, as well as new protective covenants securing our schools for our children and teachers, begin the process of providing our state the necessary resources to safeguard our children at school through addressing mental and physical health needs and facility needs,” said Rep. John Torbett (R-Gaston), a co-chair of the state House Select Committee on School Safety.
The school safety budget proposals announced by lawmakers include:
•$5 million for a SPK UP “like” app •School safety leaders are fully funding this priority of North Carolina students.
•The app allows reporting of threats and abuse in a confidential setting.
•The app will provide full-time support from a team to actively triage threats.
•The app was a priority identified by the Center for Safer Schools.
•$12 million for the School Resource Officer grant program.
•$7 million in current funding + $5 million in additional funds.
•$2 match for every $1 in local funds.
•Funding can be used for salaries and benefits, training or both.
•$2 million for community partners to provide mental health-related grants for students in crisis. •Can include LME/MCOs.
•Crisis services, foster families.
•Peer to Peer Counseling (Up to 10% of total).
•$3 million in grants for mental health training for school safety employees
•$3 million School Safety equipment grants
•$10 million in mental health grants for personnel.
•Total: $35 million
+$30-90 million in new federal funding by leveraging existing local spending in subsequent budget cycles.
Committee Lawmakers have also filed policy bills related to school safety in the 2018 legislative session most of which were incorporated into the budget.