Hundreds of Michigan school districts miss out on funding to improve security

114 districts awarded grants

DETROIT – While Michigan wants to be proactive in the fight against school shootings and building security, hundreds of districts missed out on funding to improve safety.

The state put $25 million toward improving school security measures. However, only 114 of the 407 school districts that applied to get some of that money received grant funding.

That amount was approved by Gov. Rick Snyder. His predecessor, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, will have the opportunity to come up with her own ideas on school security.

Pete Racti is a security expert who said the state needs to do more to protect its students and teachers.

"The state of Florida authorized $500 million for their schools to improve school safety so I would argue ($)25 is a little bit light," Racti said.

He also said that schools need to be proactive with the funding they received to make sure they are covering flaws in their security.

"Will it stop the bad guy from coming in? Will it restrict his movement through the building? And, will it triage those who are wounded?" Racti said.

Racti said schools often focus too much on installing high definition security cameras that only are helpful after an incident, rather than making sure doors lock and windows can't be broken. He also noted that individual door barricade systems are inexpensive, but Michigan's fire code bans them in schools.

Racti isn't telling the schools that received funding to not get cameras, but rather to focus on other security measures first.

As for what parents can do to increase safety, an awareness program can ensure staff and students are reminded to shut doors behind them and never let strangers into a school building.