School districts throughout Pennsylvania have been spending the $40 million awarded in competitive grants by the state for safety and security upgrades on cameras, bulletproof vests, counselors, and yoga, writes Avi Wolfman-Arent for WHYY.
The funds were earmarked last year for 231 school districts across the state as a response to school shootings in Florida and Texas.
According to Keystone Crossroads, one of the most common investments are video cameras. Out of all the recipients, 104 plan to spend money on installing video surveillance or replacing their existing system with a higher-quality one.
In addition to security measures, many grant recipients are focusing on mental health, student trauma, or behavioral supports. Some districts have even decided to forgo technology upgrades altogether, in favor of more counseling and mental health services.
Much lower on the list of priorities are school resource officers or school police. Only 10 percent of grant recipients said they plan to use the money for this purpose.
More specific items for individual schools include license plate readers, yoga training, Rave Panic button software, and a 125-foot walkway.
Read more about the safety spending at WHYY here.