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Indiana governor seeks $5 million to boost school security

Indiana's governor has asked legislators to approve a $5 million boost for a state grant program aimed at helping improve school security.

Posted: Mar 9, 2018 3:49 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana's governor has asked legislators to approve a $5 million boost for a state grant program aimed at helping improve school security.

Gov. Eric Holcomb's office released a letter Friday seeking the money for the Indiana Secured Safety Grant Program, which was started in 2013 after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut. It currently has a $9 million annual budget to help schools buy safety equipment or hire police officers.

The letter said the most recent round of grant applications requested $3.5 million more than was available for the state's 289 public school districts and some 80 charter schools.

The new funding request comes as Indiana schools have seen dozens of copycat threats since the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people.

Legislative leaders said approval for moving the money from the $2 billion in state reserves can be done before the legislative session ends on Wednesday.

"I think it is money well spent, whatever it requires to harden our schools, to protect our kids," Republican Senate leader David Long said. "We'll leave it to the experts to decide how best to do that."

Lawmakers allocated $10 million for the first two years of the school security grants, but that funding was slashed in 2015 to $3.5 million a year under then-Gov. Mike Pence. He later added several million back.

Holcomb's letter also said he was directing the state homeland security and education departments to prepare additional school security recommendations by Aug. 1.

Lawmakers are planning to establish a legislative study committee on school safety to meet over the summer and fall and have asked the state Department of Education to audit each school's safety plan.

Long said Thursday that he believed additional school security funding could be included in the next two-year state budget that the General Assembly will write during its 2019 session.

"I think that's going to be a priority not just this summer, but for next year's budget," he said. "Hopefully, we'll have a much better idea of what it's going to cost by then."

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 665285

Reported Deaths: 12697
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion910581653
Lake48637887
Allen36050641
Hamilton32231398
St. Joseph30243514
Elkhart25484420
Vanderburgh21315382
Tippecanoe20185205
Johnson16425361
Porter16053276
Hendricks15899301
Clark12032182
Madison11779321
Vigo11672231
Monroe10394164
Delaware9879179
LaPorte9821198
Howard9095199
Kosciusko8588111
Bartholomew7504147
Warrick7445153
Hancock7439134
Floyd7255172
Wayne6654192
Grant6453157
Boone611991
Morgan6118126
Dubois5933112
Dearborn550669
Cass5477100
Marshall5446105
Henry542695
Noble510978
Jackson465567
Shelby462591
Lawrence4193113
Gibson404985
Harrison402764
Clinton397053
Montgomery390584
DeKalb387178
Knox357885
Miami357863
Whitley350638
Huntington348377
Steuben339855
Wabash333076
Putnam331960
Ripley327862
Adams325149
Jasper318443
White298052
Jefferson295974
Daviess285696
Fayette272656
Decatur271388
Greene262280
Posey261432
Wells258975
Scott251450
LaGrange242170
Clay241444
Randolph225877
Spencer219330
Jennings216344
Washington213027
Sullivan203639
Fountain202542
Starke189251
Owen183453
Fulton179637
Jay178528
Carroll176919
Perry173836
Orange171351
Rush165422
Vermillion161542
Franklin159735
Tipton149241
Parke140116
Pike128433
Blackford120627
Pulaski107544
Newton96732
Brown95240
Benton92413
Crawford92113
Martin80314
Warren75914
Switzerland7558
Union67510
Ohio54111
Unassigned0434

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