Shelton to receive state funds for school security upgrades

Shelton will receive $168,537 in state funding to improve security in its schools.

The grant funds are part of $5 million that will be given to 169 schools in 36 education districts, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced today.

The state money will be used to reimburse municipalities for a portion of the costs associated with security infrastructure improvements made in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

“This funding allows districts with the most need to implement modern security measures that will make schools safer,” Malloy said.

Protecting students and educators

State Rep. Jason Perillo of Shelton praised the funding announcement.

“These funds are essential to providing adequate security measures to protect our students and our educators,” Perillo said. “I want to thank our local leaders for dedicating the resources needed to ensure that our schools are safe.”

The state received 111 applications for proposed infrastructure projects in 604 school buildings, consisting of the installation of surveillance cameras, bulletproof glass, electric locks, buzzer and card entry systems, and panic alarms.

First round of grants

The funds are part of the first round of the state’s Competitive Grant Program for school security, part of the Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety Act.

“After the horrific events on Dec. 14, Connecticut cities and towns moved swiftly to improve security infrastructures at schools in need,” Malloy said. “We will never be able to prevent every random act, but we can take the steps necessary to make sure that our children and our teachers are as safe as possible.”

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Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said the needed school security improvements are part of a post-Newtown “new reality.”

“This funding will not only make our schools more secure, but will give us the peace of mind that we are doing everything we can to live up to our obligation to provide a safe learning environment for our children,” Wyman said.

A future round of state school security funding will be announced soon.

Local funds also being spent

The awards, administered by the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection in consultation with the state Department of Education and state Department of Construction Services, were based on a school security assessment survey conducted by each local school district that applied.

Each municipality will be reimbursed between 20% and 80%, according to town wealth, as defined in a section of state law. Funds from municipalities, which total about $3.9 million, will be matched with nearly $5 million in state funding for an overall $8.9 investment in school security among 169 schools.

Perillo said Shelton is spending nearly $300,000 on the school security upgrades. He said local leaders “needed to work to allocate nearly $299,000 in total, which is no small achievement considering today’s economy.”

Who is getting the funds

School districts receiving awards are: Avon, Bridgeport, Cheshire, Danbury, Derby, East Hartford, Enfield, Greenwich, Hamden, Hartford, Killingly, Ledyard and Mansfield.

Also, Meriden, Middletown, Montville, Naugatuck, New Britain, New Hartford, North Haven, Norwalk, Plymouth, Portland and Region 6 (Warren, Morris and Goshen).

In addition, Regional 14 (Woodbury and Bethlehem), Rocky Hill, Shelton, Southington, Stamford, Sterling, Stratford, Vernon, West Haven, Westport, Wethersfield and Winchester.

‘Safe, welcoming learning environments’

State Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor said the funds are an investment in creating safe and welcoming learning environments for young people in Connecticut.

"In the wake of the events at Sandy Hook last year, many districts across Connecticut are working to strengthen the safety and security of school buildings and grounds this year,” Pryor said.

“And, at the same time, these districts are striving to maintain warm, welcoming learning environments for our students,” he continued. “The grants awarded today will help our schools accomplish these two essential goals.”