The Saucon Valley School District has been awarded grants for school safety and security improvements and additional mental health resources totaling more than $260,000.
State Sen. Lisa Boscola (D-18), who represents Hellertown borough and Lower Saucon Township in Harrisburg, announced the grant award in a news release Thursday.
“It is so important that we invest in the safety of our children, both with security and mental health services,” Boscola said. “This is over five-million-dollars in direct invest for our area schools. I am so proud we could make this happen.”
The release noted that the grant awards are made possible by Act 44 of 2018, which Boscola co-sponsored and which established the School Safety and Security Committee within the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD).
Under Act 44, school districts, intermediate units, area vocational-technical schools, charter schools and private residential rehabilitation institutions were eligible to apply for up to a maximum of $6 million to support one or more activities allowed by the statute. Allowed activities include performing school safety assessments; purchasing security-related technology and equipment; supporting school safety-related and behavioral-health trainings; preparing all-hazards plans; hiring school resource officers, school police officers, school counselors, social workers and school psychologists; and providing for trauma-informed approaches to education.
“This program has been successful in helping our schools upgrade their physical security and it was important that we spearhead that mission by also dedicating funds to mental health services for students as well,” Boscola said. “Thankfully were able to make significant investments in that this budget cycle.”
The Saucon Valley School District is receiving a school safety & security grant award for $131,601 and a school mental health grant award for $131,601, for an award totaling $263,202.
Other area school districts received the following combined grant awards:
- Salisbury Township School District – $250,049
- Bethlehem Area School District – $655,356
- Wilson Area School District – $269,645
“Boscola supported enhanced funding for the program in this year’s budget through Act 55 of 2022,” the release said. “The Act allocated a total of $190 million towards the programs: $95 million for School Safety & Security grants and $95 million for School Mental Health grants. The updates to the law expanded the scope to allow eligible entities to apply for funds to address mental health initiatives in addition to physical security enhancements.”