Attorney General Lockyer and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Eastin Deliver $10.8 Million in Safe Schools Grants
Grants Will Be Used by Local Education Agencies to Combat School Violence
(SACRAMENTO) -- Attorney General Bill Lockyer and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin today announced $10.8 million in grants to 34 school districts throughout California to help combat school violence.
The grants are part of the School Community Policing Partnership Program, which provides competitive grant funding each year for the development of school/law enforcement/community partnerships. Each grantee is eligible to receive up to $325,000, to be spent over three years. The grants are administered jointly by the Department of Justice and the Department of Education under the School Community Policing Partnership Act of 1998.
"The recent school shootings at Santana and Granite Hills high schools have shown how valuable partnerships between schools and law enforcement can be," said Lockyer. "There is no question that lives were saved due to the quick reactions of cops on those campuses. While this is the third year of our school safety grant funding, we need to continue to support and pursue new strategies that prevent school violence from erupting at our schools."
Eastin emphasized the importance of student relationships with support staff by announcing her proposal to increase the number of counselors, psychologists, social workers and nurses that work in our schools. California is last among the states in the ratio of support staff provided for K-12 students. Eastin's proposal would add 1,000 new staff each year for the next five years to bring California up to the national average of 561 to one.
"Key strategies that create physical and psychological safety for our youth focus on the positive connections that we must all make with students," noted Eastin. "We need to find ways to decrease the size and anonymity of our larger schools, and my proposal to expand the number of support staff will help our children reconnect with their schools and each other."
A total of 75 applications were received for grants this year. Through the comprehensive review process, staff from the Department of Justice and the Department of Education determined that 34 of the 75 submissions for Fiscal Year 2000-2001 provided the greatest likelihood of success. The grant selections become final later this week after a public review period.
The grantees represent schools in rural, urban, and suburban areas throughout California. This year there are a total of 18 grantees from Northern California,10 from Central California, and 16 from Southern California. Applicants were evaluated on two basic criteria: need and collaboration. A needs assessment was performed based on data from the California Safe Schools Assessment, school crime reporting information, and law enforcement statistics for the community. Existing collaboration among law enforcement, schools, health, and community-based organizations was also considered important. The best candidates for the grants had full collaboratives in place, and demonstrated a high need for this assistance.
The School Community Policing Partnership will begin accepting new application for grants for Fiscal Year 2001-2001 on or before November 1, 2001. Additional information about the School Community Policing Partnership Program is available through the Department of Justice website at http://safestate.org or Department of Education website at http://www.cde.ca.gov/spbranch/safety.