Governor Dannel Malloy announced Wednesday $5 million will be distributed between 169 schools in 36 districts to improve school security.
The state funding will reimburse municipalities for a portion of school security infrastructure costs in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
This is the first round of funds that will be granted through the Competitive Grant Program for school security as part of the Gun Violence Prevention and Children's Safety Act.
Among the towns receiving state funding are Stamford, Norwalk, and Greenwich. Greenwich will receive $1,918, Norwalk, $29,305, and Stamford, $136,678.
“After the horrific events on December 14th, Connecticut cities and towns moved swiftly to improve security infrastructures at schools in need,” Governor Malloy said. “We will never be able to prevent every random act, but we can take the steps necessary to make sure that our children and our teachers are as safe as possible. This funding allows districts with the most need to implement modern security measures that will make schools safer.”
“We all wish that this program was not needed, but unfortunately we must adapt to the new reality that Sandy Hook tragically brought to our state,” Lt. Governor Wyman said. “This funding will not only make our schools more secure, but will give us the peace of mind that we are doing everything we can to live up to our obligation to provide a safe learning environment for our children.”
The awards, administered by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, were based on a school security assessment survey conducted by each school district that applied. The DESPP also worked with the state Department of Education and the Department of Construction Services.
DESPP received 111 applications for infrastructure plans in 604 school buildings. The school proposals included installations of surveillance cameras, bullet proof glass, electric locks, buzzer and card entry systems, and panic alarms.
"In the wake of the events at Sandy Hook last year, many districts across Connecticut are working to strengthen the safety and security of school buildings and grounds this year. And, at the same time, these districts are striving to maintain warm, welcoming learning environments for our students. The grants awarded today will help our schools accomplish these two essential goals,” said State Department of Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor. “We are grateful to Governor Malloy, the General Assembly, and our partner state agencies for investing in safe and welcoming learning environments for our young people.”
Each municipality will be reimbursed between 20 and 80 percent, based on town wealth. Total funds from municipalities are close to $4 million and will be matched with nearly $5 million in state funding, which is about an $8 million overall investment.
“Public Safety is a core function of our government, especially when it comes to our children’s security,” DESPP Deputy Commissioner William Shea said. “These funds show the commitment and investment Governor Malloy has made to the safety of our children and educators and is another vital step in improving the security infrastructure of our schools.
The complete list of schools receiving funding are: Avon, Bridgeport, Cheshire, Danbury, Derby, East Hartford, Enfield, Greenwich, Hamden, Hartford, Killingly, Ledyard, Mansfield, Meriden, Middletown, Montville, Naugatuck, New Britain, New Hartford, North Haven, Norwalk, Plymouth, Portland, Regional School District No. 6 (Warren, Morris and Goshen), Regional School District No. 14 (Woodbury and Bethlehem), Rocky Hill, Shelton, Southington, Stamford, Sterling, Stratford, Vernon, West Haven, Westport, Wethersfield, and Winchester.
A future round of funding will be announced soon.