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NJ Announces Grants Addressing School Safety, Lead Remediation

Lead Pipe - Shutterstock

By Press Release

TRENTON – Gov. Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) Sept. 1 announced grants to improve school security and address lead in drinking water in public preschools, charter schools and renaissance schools. These grant programs will provide critical resources to schools and help them comply with Alyssa’s Law, N.J.S.A. 18A:41-10, and support lead remediation efforts.  
“The best public education system in America is here, in New Jersey, and we need to ensure that our students and educators have the necessary tools for students to grow and thrive,” stated Murphy. “By investing in school security and lead remediation, we are investing in critical improvements in our schools and creating safe and healthy learning environments for students across our state.”  
“One of our greatest responsibilities is providing children with safe and healthy learning environments,” stated Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, acting commissioner of dducation. “The initiatives that we’re announcing today will bring about safety improvements to benefit more students in even more schools.”  
According to a governor’s office release, three separate grant initiatives are being announced: 

  • School Security Grants, $8 million: The DOE is reopening the School Security grants portion of the Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act. The $8 million will help schools install panic alarms for emergency situations, which was required under Alyssa’s Law. After addressing Alyssa’s Law compliance, the funding can be used for other school-security measures, such as cameras, secure vestibules and shatter-resistant glass. In 2018, New Jersey voters approved the $500 million Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act (Bond Act), $75 million of which was designated for school safety measures. The $8 million that is being reopened is the portion of the Bond Act that was not fully utilized in the first round of School Security Grants funding.  
  • Preschool and Charter School Security Compliance Grants, $4 million: Because charter schools and school district preschools were not eligible for the school-security funding in the 2018 Bond Act, the governor’s fiscal year 2022 state budget included $4 million in funding to cover those entities. The grants being announced will provide funding to help school districts with district-owned preschool-only buildings, charter schools, and renaissance school projects comply with the provisions of Alyssa’s Law and address other security measures, as appropriate. 
  • Preschool Facilities Lead Remediation Grants, $1 million: The governor’s fiscal year 2022 state budget also included $1 million to fund lead-remediation efforts in public school districts with district-owned preschool-only buildings. The funding is being made available because the 2018 Bond Act included $100 million for lead remediation and water infrastructure in K-12 schools, but those dollars were not available to public preschools. 

School districts, charter schools and renaissance school projects that are eligible for the funding can apply online through the DOE’s website. The application deadline for each of the grants is Oct. 13, 2021.

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