LANSING, Mich. – The state of Michigan is giving $25 million in grants to select public and private schools to upgrade door locks and other security features in the wake of mass school shootings in other states.
The state police received 407 applications requesting $69 million -- far more than the $25 million authorized by the Legislature and Gov. Rick Snyder. The agency announced this week that it is giving the $25 million to 114 school districts, 42 private schools, 22 charter schools and 10 regional districts.
Some recipients must provide matching funds, while others do not have to do so. Schools must spend their grant by Sept. 30. Snyder says the grants are part of a “proactive approach” to help prevent tragedies in schools.
Teresa Davis is the superintendent for Mount Clemens Community Schools, which is one of the districts getting thousands of dollars in grant money for security upgrades.
"This gives us an opportunity to upgrade security for emergencies that may occur," Davis said. "We're looking at some doors over at our elementary Seminole Academy and kits, trauma kits for the classrooms."
Schools were chosen for several different reasons. A review committee looked closely at the applications and one thing that made some schools stand out was their plan to use the money to secure the outside of the school buildings. Mount Clemens met the various requirements.
Mount Clemens residents think security upgrades are great but more needs to be done at home to stop school violence.
"I think the parents are more in charge of the kids and what the kids are doing," an anonymous community member said. "There is no easy answer."
Jason Guthaus with the Grants and Community Services Division of the Michigan State Police released the following statement to Local 4, explaining how schools were chosen:
"The 188 schools that are receiving funding were selected from 407 applicants. 140 grantees are being awarded funds from Program Area 1 ($10 million, non-matching), and 48 grantees are being awarded funds from Program Area 2 ($15 million, 25% required cash match by the recipient). Program Area 1 applications were limited to $25,000.00 per application for individual schools and $250,000.00 for school districts or intermediate school districts. Program Area 2 applications were limited to $1.0 million per application (total project costs necessary for the maximum funding would need to be $1,333,333).
Applicants were selected for funding based on eligibility, the project description and whether the project reflects the highest security need of the applicant within grant funding constraints, the budget narrative, the budget, project goals, objectives, and performance measures. Priority was given to projects that involved multiple agencies working in partnership, to proposals that sought to secure exterior access points of school buildings, and to those applicants that did not receive a school safety grant in the past. Grant applicants had to demonstrate that an emergency operation plan had been updated after August 1, 2017 to align with the state of Michigan emergency operations plan guidance and school safety information policy developed under MCL 380.1308.
Requests for the 2018 CSSGP exceeded $69 million which made for very difficult decisions by the review committee. The review committee included representatives from the MSP, the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association, the Michigan Department of Education, the Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools, school security, and the Executive Office of the Governor. The applications were presented to the review committee for examination and discussion to determine which applicants would receive awards, and in what amounts."
Mark Blaszkowski, deputy superintendent of Roseville Community schools said Roseville received the most grant money out of Macomb County Schools.
Roseville received more than $240,000 and they'll be able to address 10 buildings in the district. They will be adding a door monitoring system, a door locking system for emergencies, and putting labels on exterior doors.