State seeks approval for $9.8 million in federal funds toward school security upgrades

New Hampshire Bulletin
Published: 11/18/2022 11:41:12 AM

New Hampshire officials are seeking this week to distribute $9.8 million in federal funds to help boost school door-locking systems to mitigate threats.

In a request to the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee, Gov. Chris Sununu said the funds will be spread among 231 public schools and 18 nonpublic schools if approved. The committee will vote on whether to approve the grants on Friday.

The proposed funds are part of the state’s Security Action for Education (SAFE) program, launched this year to use federal COVID-19 relief aid toward school security upgrades. 

Under a process set up this year, schools could apply for up to $100,000 in funding for three categories of upgrades: access control, surveillance, or emergency alerting.

But all of the state’s proposed awards this week will go to access control projects, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education said Tuesday. 

“Homeland Security determined that these access control projects were the most at-risk, and were the priority,” the spokeswoman, Kimberley Houghton, said. 

The awards were chosen by the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management based on a ranking system to determine schools with higher risk.

If the item is approved, each school will receive about $39,653 on average, according to the state’s request. 

The grant request comes after the state distributed $3.8 million from its Public School Infrastructure Fund toward similar security upgrade projects in September. That grant round was limited to public schools. 

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