Kansas to give out security funds to schools

Department of Education began distributing the grants Monday

July 17, 2018 - 4:34 pm

Kansas is distributing $5 million in state grants to beef up security and improve safety at schools in more than 150 districts.

The state Department of Education began distributing the grants Monday for new doors, windows, security cameras, intercoms and other safety features at schools. The appropriations authorized by lawmakers must be matched by districts submitting requests to the state Board of Education.

A total of 153 public school districts have sought $13 million in grants, with a formula devised to bring grant awards within budget.

Two districts originally proposed part of their funding be used to buy firearms, but those requests were eventually removed.

"Representatives from the partnering agencies on this project agreed that state funds should not be used to purchase firearms," said Denise Kahler, spokeswoman for the Education Department.

The largest recipient was Wichita's district, which received $922,600 from a $1.2 million request. The Healy district received the smallest amount, at just more than $1,000.

The Education Department has been committed to giving the money to K-12 districts since early in the fiscal year began July 1, said Dale Dennis, deputy commissioner of education. He said the object was to allow security enhancements to take place as quickly as possible.

"The districts were really pretty sensible," Dennis said. "It's important we get the money out there and working rather than sit in Topeka."

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