School districts updated on Legislative Appropriations for School Security

By Sky Carroll

During a July 9 webcast, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) updated local school district staff on a new School Security Request (SSR) process related to funding in the 2020 budget.

House Bill 352, the 2020 budget bill, included $18.2 million for a variety of school safety facility upgrades. The appropriation is based off a survey done by the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA) in 2019 and requirements in Senate Bill 1 (2019).

SB 1, passed on March 11, 2019, under an emergency clause, identifies six required security devices for schools. The devices are main entrance locks, a main entrance camera, a main entrance intercom, classroom door locks, classroom door window coverings and exterior door access control. Money from the $18.2 million can only be used for these six devices.

“It’s a pretty short list and we have just now finished the process, instructions and guidelines, so districts can start submitting funding requests,” said Chay Ritter of KDE’s Office of Finance and Operations.

Each district’s portion of the security funding is based on its average daily attendance (ADA) rates. In order to receive funding for security, districts must submit an SSR form, which details what schools will do with the funding and the amount of funding requested.

“Jefferson County, the largest district, gets the largest chunk of funding. The smallest district will get the smallest chunk of that, based on ADA,” Ritter said.

Since SB 1 was passed under an emergency clause, it allows districts to request funding for retroactive projects, which includes those completed from March 11, 2019, to June 30, 2020. Districts also can use the funding for security projects through the current fiscal year, which ends on June 30, 2021.