York County districts receive more than $1M in school safety grants

From left, York High Hall Monitor Kelvin Harrison, left, stands by as Coleen Hurst, of Lancaster City, passes through the metal detector and York City School Police Officer Ori Rivera, right, looks on while screening attendants as they arrive for the girls' basketball games at the school in York City, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. Because of "safety and security concerns," the boys games against Chester, that were also scheduled for Saturday, have been postponed. Dawn J. Sagert photo

All 16 of York County's school districts were awarded state safety grant money, totaling about $1.2 million.

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency released a complete list of approved applicants in late February. Grants were approved by the School Safety and Security Committee, established under the PCCD through Act 44 of 2018.

Statewide, $53.7 million in school safety and security grants was awarded to 524 educational entities, and $7.5 million in community violence prevention/reduction grants was awarded to 30 organizations, according to a news release.

PCCD received a total of 970 applications totaling $134.5 million, state Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill, R-York Township, said in a statement Feb. 26.

Among county districts, York City received the most, at $473,479, followed by Southern York County, at $353,460; Dover Area at $323,644; Spring Grove Area at $237,004; and Hanover Public at $140,500.

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Spring Grove Area Middle School hosted an adolescent mental health training for regional school resource officers on Friday, Feb. 1.

Dover’s share is for security planning or security-related technology, according to the PCCD award list, and York City’s funds will cover positive behavior support, classroom management and trauma-informed education.

The district with the most categories covered under its lump sum is Southern, which had its money split among 12 categories recognized under the public school code.

More:York County districts, private schools benefit from Safe Schools grants

They included a number of risk assessments, research-based violence prevention, student discipline, classroom management and compensation or training for mental health professionals.

The rest of the county's districts were awarded either $40,000 or $45,000 each.

"With such a big investment in our local schools and our children’s safety, parents can rest easier at night and worry less during the day,” state Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York City, said in a statement Feb. 27.

In addition to public districts, the Youth Advocate Program was awarded a $170,037 grant for an intervention program for York County youth ages 10-18 who have an increased risk of becoming violent or becoming victims of violence, according to PCCD. 

Lincoln Charter School and York County Children, Youth & Families will serve as referral sources for that program and provide spaces for group sessions during the school year.

Phillips-Hill said, however, that Gov. Tom Wolf is seeking a $45 million cut to the school safety and security fund — which would decrease from $60 million to $15 million in 2020-21, according to Wolf's budget proposal