(a) Establishment.--The School Safety and Security Grant Program is established to make school entities within this Commonwealth safer places.
(b) Functions generally.--The committee shall perform all functions related to the direct approval, disbursement and administration of grants under the program.
(c) Diversity.--The committee shall ensure that grant funding under the program is geographically dispersed throughout this Commonwealth.
(d) Supplement and not supplant.--Grant money allocated through the program shall be used to supplement and not supplant existing school entity spending on school safety and security. Nothing shall preclude a school entity from making an application in a subsequent year for the same purpose and amount awarded in a prior year.
(e) Effect of revenue received.--Grant money received by a school entity under this section may not be included when calculating the amount to be paid to a charter school under section 1725-A.1
(f) Minimum allocation.--Each school district that makes a meritorious application as prescribed by the committee under subsection (j) shall receive a minimum grant allocation as follows:
(1) A school district with an average daily membership greater than 3,900 shall receive a minimum grant allocation of $45,000.
(2) A school district with an average daily membership greater than 2,100 but less than or equal to 3,900 shall receive a minimum grant allocation of $40,000.
(3) A school district with an average daily membership greater than 1,200 but less than or equal to 2,100 shall receive a minimum grant allocation of $35,000.
(4) A school district with an average daily membership of less than or equal to 1,200 shall receive a minimum grant allocation of $30,000.
(1) Each school entity may make application annually and no school entity may receive an annual grant allocation that exceeds the minimum allocation in subsection (f) plus $450,000, except a school district of the first class, which may not receive an annual grant allocation that exceeds 7% of the funds available under the grant program, and a school district of the first class A, which may not receive a grant allocation that exceeds 3% of the funds available under the grant program.
(2) Grant allocations awarded to a cyber charter school shall be limited to the safety and security needs of students at facilities where tutoring, testing, supplemental programs and services or instruction for students with disabilities occur.
(g.1) Whole or partial awards.--The committee, in its discretion, may award in whole or in part a request made by a school entity in its grant application based upon the merit of a specific item requested.
(g.2) Sustainability planning.--Sustainability planning is not a necessary component of an application under this section.
(g.3) Confidentiality.--Information submitted by school entities as part of the grant application, the disclosure of which would be reasonably likely to result in a substantial and demonstrable risk of physical harm or the personal security of students or staff shall remain confidential and shall not be subject to the act of February 14, 2008 (P.L. 6, No. 3),2 known as the Right-to-Know Law. The committee may release aggregate data at its discretion.
(h) School Safety and Security Fund.--
(1) The School Safety and Security Fund is established as a special nonlapsing fund in the State Treasury.
(2) All money deposited in the fund and the interest it accrues are appropriated to the commission on a continuing basis to award grants under this article.
(3) No administrative action shall prevent the deposit of money into the fund in the fiscal year in which the money is received.
(4) The fund may only be used for the grant programs authorized under this article and no money in the fund may be transferred or diverted to any other purpose by administrative action.
(5) Money available to the fund shall include appropriations and transfers from the General Fund, special funds, Federal funds and other sources of revenue made available to it.
(6) Grants under this section shall be awarded no later than March 1, 2020, and each March 1 thereafter.
(7) Not more than 12.5% of the fund may be allocated annually for grants under subsection (j)(22).
(8) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, during the 2020-2021 fiscal year, money in the fund shall be used as follows:
(i) The following amounts for grants under section 1312-B:3
(A) The amount appropriated to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency for “COVID Relief -- For Transfer to the School Safety and Security Fund” for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
(B) The amount transferred to the fund from the appropriation to the Department of Education for “COVID -- ESSER -- SEA” for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
(ii) Fifty percent of the amount transferred to the fund under section 1795.2-E of the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L. 343, No. 176),4 known as The Fiscal Code, for grants under section 1313-B.5
(iii) Fifty percent of the amount transferred to the fund under section 1795.2-E of The Fiscal Code for grants to eligible applicants for programs designed to reduce community violence as provided for under section 1306-B(j)(22).6
(iv) The following shall apply to the distribution of money under subparagraph (i)(B):
(A) The Department of Education shall authorize the committee to distribute the money transferred to the fund from the appropriation for “COVID -- ESSER -- SEA.”
(B) The Secretary of Education, in consultation with the committee, shall ensure that the requirements under section 18003 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (Public Law 116-136, 134 Stat. 281) are fulfilled.
(9) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, during the 2022-2023 fiscal year, money in the fund shall be used as follows:
(i) Ninety-five percent of the amount appropriated to the Department of Education for transfer to the School Safety and Security Fund for grants under section 1314-B.7
(ii) Ninety-five percent of the amount appropriated to the Department of Education for the Ready-to-Learn Block Grant and transferred to the School Safety and Security Fund for grants under section 1315-B.8
(iii) Five percent of the amount appropriated to the Department of Education for transfer to the School Safety and Security Fund for training under section 1316-B.9
(iv) Five percent of the amount appropriated to the Department of Education for the Ready-to-Learn Block Grant and transferred to the School Safety and Security Fund for the program under section 1318-B.10
(i) Community violence prevention programs.--
(1) Municipalities, institutions of higher education, community-based organizations and other entities approved by the committee are the only eligible applicants under subsection (j)(22).
(j) Specific purposes.--The committee shall provide grants to school entities for programs that address school mental health and safety and security, including:
(1) Safety and security assessments that meet the committee's criteria.
(2) Conflict resolution or dispute management, including restorative justice strategies.
(3) School-wide positive behavior support that includes primary or universal, secondary and tertiary supports and interventions in school entities.
(4) School-based diversion programs.
(5) Peer helper programs.
(6) Risk assessment, safety-related, violence prevention curricula, including dating violence curricula, restorative justice strategies, mental health early intervention, self-care and suicide awareness and prevention curricula.
(7) Classroom management.
(8) Student codes of conduct.
(9) Training to undertake a districtwide assessment of risk factors that increase the likelihood of problem behaviors among students.
(10) Development and implementation of research-based violence prevention programs that address risk factors to reduce incidents of problem behaviors among students, including, but not limited to, mental health early intervention, self-care, bullying and suicide awareness and prevention.
(11) Thorough, districtwide school safety, violence prevention, emergency preparedness and all-hazards plans, including revisions or updates to such plans and conducting emergency preparedness drills and related activities with local emergency responders.
(12) Security planning and purchase of security-related technology, which may include metal detectors, protective lighting, specialty trained canines, surveillance equipment, special emergency communications equipment, automated external defibrillators, electronic locksets, deadbolts, trauma kits and theft control devices and training in the use of security-related technology. Security planning and purchase of security-related technology shall be based on safety needs identified by the school entity's board of school directors.
(13) Institution of student, staff and visitor identification systems, including criminal background check software.
(14) Provision of specialized staff and student training programs, including training for Student Assistance Program team members in the referral of students at risk of violent behavior to appropriate community-based services and behavioral health services and training related to prevention and early intervention.
(15) Counseling services for students, including costs associated with the training and compensation of mental health staff or expanding contracts with mental health providers that provide support to students in a school setting.
(16) A system for the management of student discipline, including misconduct and criminal offenses.
(17) Staff training programs in the use of positive behavior supports, de-escalation techniques, appropriate responses to student behavior that may require immediate intervention and trauma-informed treatment for mental health providers in schools.
(18) Costs associated with the training and compensation of school resource officers and school police officers.
(19) Costs associated with the training and compensation of certified school counselors, licensed professional counselors, licensed social workers, licensed clinical social workers and school psychologists.
(20) Administration of evidence-based screenings for adverse childhood experiences that are proven to be determinants of physical, social and behavioral health and provide trauma-informed counseling services as necessary to students based upon the screening results.
(21) Trauma-informed approaches to education, including:
(i) Increasing student and school employee access to quality trauma support services and behavioral health care, including the following:
(A) Hiring or contracting with certified school counselors, licensed professional counselors, licensed social workers, licensed clinical social workers, school psychologists and other professional health personnel to provide services to students and school employees.
(B) Developing collaborative efforts between the school entity and behavioral health professionals to identify students in need of trauma support and to provide prevention, screening, referral and treatment services to students potentially in need of services.
(C) Partnering with community-based organizations for peer or family support.
(D) Training on youth-focused mental health first aid for school employees to help recognize signs of mental health distress in students.
(E) Providing activities to improve mental health in a school entity and after-school programming.
(ii) Programs providing:
(A) Trauma-informed approaches to education in the curriculum, including training of school employees, school directors and behavioral health professionals to develop safe, stable and nurturing learning environments that prevent and mitigate the effects of trauma.
(B) Services for children and their families, as appropriate, who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing trauma, including those who are low-income, homeless, involved in the child welfare system or involved in the juvenile justice system.
(22) Programs designed to reduce community violence, including:
(i) Increasing access to quality trauma-informed support services and behavioral health care by linking the community with local trauma support and behavioral health systems.
(ii) Providing health services and intervention strategies by coordinating the services provided by eligible applicants and coordinated care organizations, public health entities, nonprofit youth service providers and community-based organizations.
(iii) Providing mentoring and other intervention models to children and their families who have experienced trauma or are at risk of experiencing trauma, including those who are low-income, homeless, in foster care, involved in the criminal justice system, unemployed, experiencing a mental illness or substance abuse disorder or not enrolled in or at risk of dropping out of an educational institution.
(iv) Fostering and promoting communication between the school entity, community and law enforcement.
(v) Any other program or model designed to reduce community violence and approved by the committee.
(24) Expanding telemedicine delivery of school-based mental health services, including equipment.
(25) Providing technical assistance for a school entity related to billing insurance providers in order to better provide mental health services in a school setting.
(26) Creating or expanding Statewide programs and intervention frameworks, such as school assistance programs, positive behavioral intervention and supports and multitiered systems of support.
(27) Training and related materials for school employees or students that are evidence based and focus on identifying the signs and signals of anxiety, depression, suicide or self-harm in students and best practices for seeking appropriate mental health assistance.
(28) Providing, increasing or enhancing partnerships between a school entity and a community-based nonprofit organization, a Statewide youth-serving nonprofit or a library for out-of-school programming for at-risk school-age students.
(29) Coordinating and integrating local and county mental health services and programs for school employees or students.
(30) Providing online programs, educational materials and applications to provide supplemental mental health services to students that may include peer support, self-guided evidenced-based therapeutic tools and clinical interactions.
(j.1) Prioritization of grants.--
(1) The committee may in its discretion utilize the information obtained from the most recent survey instrument completed by a school entity under section 1305-B12 and trends in applications from the prior year to prioritize the allocation of grants from among the specific purposes enumerated in subsection (j).
(2) If the commission chooses to prioritize the allocation of grants, it shall provide guidance in the funding announcement detailing the specific purposes enumerated under subsection (j) which it intends to prioritize when making grant awards.
(j.2) Training.--The committee shall conduct informational training for applicants outlining the grant priorities and completion of applications.
(k) Coordination of grant distribution.--The department shall coordinate the distribution of grants under Article XIII-A13 with the committee to ensure the most effective use of resources.
(1) The commission may randomly audit and monitor grant recipients to ensure the appropriate use of grant funds and compliance with the provisions of subsection (d).
(2) The Auditor General shall not perform audits related to school safety and security assessments, survey instruments and grant applications.