Dozens of local schools have more time to seek safety grants

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Ohio schools, including dozens locally, have extra time to apply for their share of $12 million in school safety grants allotted by the state legislature earlier this year, in part because some said they didn’t receive word they were eligible.

State Attorney General Mike DeWine, who was elected governor Tuesday, said $2.8 million of the total went unclaimed by the Nov. 1 deadline, so he extended the deadline to Nov. 30.

Some districts, like Kettering, said they weren’t aware of the grants, which DeWine’s office said it announced via letters to eligible schools in September. Others, including Dayton and Vandalia-Butler, have said they’ll use the extended deadline to apply.

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“No one here at the schools recalls receiving the letter that was supposed to spell out how to apply for the funds,” Kettering City Schools spokeswoman Kari Basson said. “We will be working with the Kettering Police Department to apply for the funds before DeWine’s extended deadline.”

The law allows schools to use the grant money for a variety of things, including school resource officer training, safety and security materials and programs to identify and help students struggling with mental health issues.

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House Bill 318, which authorized the funding, requires participating schools to work with local law enforcement to determine the best use of the grant funding.

Kettering schools are eligible for $42,685 in safety funding. The amount varies from school to school and district to district based on size of enrollment. Every public, chartered nonpublic, and county board of developmental disabilities school was eligible for at least $2,500.

Of the hundreds of public, Catholic, charter and other schools the AG’s office said did not claim the funds (including more than two dozen locally), most were small schools that qualified for exactly $2,500. Those included Alter High School, Jefferson Twp. schools, the Dayton Islamic School, Dayton Leadership Academy and hundreds of others statewide.

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Dayton Public Schools, which qualified for a $75,082 grant, did not initially claim the funds, but is filing for the money during the extension period, according to Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli. Vandalia-Butler City Schools is also in the process of claiming its $16,051 grant, spokeswoman Anaka Johnson said this week.

Dozens of local schools did claim the funds in the first window. Centerville, Beavercreek, Springboro and Huber Heights each got more than $30,000, while Yellow Springs, Newton, the CityDay charter school and St. Charles in Kettering each filed to claim grants of less than $5,000.

Schools with questions about the grants can email SchoolSafetyGrants@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or call 614-466-6963.

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