State Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh/Montgomery/Northampton) announced Friday that Safe Schools Targeted Grants totaling nearly $100,000 have been awarded to four school districts or entities serving the 131st District, which includes part of Lower Saucon Township.
“The funding was made available through a Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) program to prevent and reduce violent incidents in schools, to purchase safety and security-related equipment and to provide for the training and compensation of school resource officers (SRO) and school police officers (SPO),” Simmons said in a news release about the awards.
The local grants are as follows:
- East Penn School District – $24,955 for equipment
- Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley – $39,970 for a School Police Officer
- Southern Lehigh School District – $20,000 for an anti-violence program
- Upper Perkiomen School District – $14,190 for an anti-violence program
“Our children’s safety in the classroom is our top priority,” Simmons said. “This funding will help to ensure that schools are providing a secure learning environment for students, as well as the faculty and staff.”
PDE has awarded Safe Schools Targeted Grants totaling approximately $8.4 million to school entities statewide, according to the news release.
It was reported by The Morning Call over the summer that Saucon Valley is the only public school district in Lehigh and Northampton counties without a school resource officer, school police officer or in-school security.
Lower Saucon Township resident David Repyneck recently called upon the school board to hire an officer, and noted in a letter to the editor published by Saucon Source that grant funding is available.
“Just so you are aware, we are having ongoing meetings…with police departments and so forth, to further discuss the whole parameters and so forth,” Karabin said in response to a presentation Repyneck made at a board meeting late last month.
He said he also questions the characterization of Saucon Valley School District as the only school district in Lehigh and Northampton counties without a SRO.