SPRINGFIELD – Public elementary and secondary school districts, community colleges and state universities can begin applying for grants to enhance security for their students and staff under a program announced today by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA). Grants totaling $25 million will be awarded under the Illinois School Security Grant Program administered by IEMA.
“Student safety is a top priority for every school district and college campus in Illinois,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. “Through these grants, we can support efforts to enhance school and campus security throughout the state.”
IEMA this week emailed information about the competitive grant program to the chief official for each eligible public K-12 school district, inter-district special education cooperative, community college and university system in Illinois. The emails contained secure access information so school officials can develop and submit their grant application. Only one application from the eligible entity will be accepted.
Based on a review of national crisis situations and consultation with key security experts, the state prioritized protective measures, such as installing reinforced doors, shatter-resistance glass and physical locks for the primary public entrance at schools, to protect students and staff. Schools that have achieved this baseline capability will be able to implement other security measures for public elementary and secondary school districts.
Public community colleges and universities may request funding to install physical security enhancement equipment, inspection and screening systems, information technology and interoperable communication equipment for academic classroom buildings.
Grant applications are due no later than Friday, March 14. Applications will be evaluated on a number of criteria, including known hazards, threats and risks; ability of the project to enhance student safety; existence of a current Emergency Operations Plan at the facility where the project is planned; ability to complete the project within the grant period; and more.
Grant awards are expected to be announced this spring.
More information about the Illinois School Security Grant Program is available at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.