Updated 8:38 p.m. Nov. 13 to add award attachments; 10:20 p.m. Nov. 14 to add quotes from BOE Chairman Mike Lyons and state Sen. Bob Duff.
NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk schools will receive an additional $10,850 from the state to put toward school security, according to a press release issued Tuesday by Gov. Dannel Malloy’s office.
The money is part of a second round of funding that is part of the School Security Grant Program, part of the Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety Act. Malloy announced that 75 school districts, covering 435 schools will receive funds as part of the program.
“This allows us to continue to get resources out to the cities and towns that have begun work to modernize their security infrastructure and ramp up safety procedures at school buildings in the wake of the horrific events on Dec. 14,” Malloy said in the release. “We will never be able to prevent every random act of violence, but we can take the steps necessary to make sure that our children and our teachers are as safe as possible. This funding allows an additional 435 schools to implement modern security measures that will make schools safer.”
With these additional funds, a total of $21 million has now been allocated to the school security grant program. In September, Norwalk was granted $29,305 in state funding.
Recently, Norwalk schools Superintendent Manny Rivera sought an additional $500,000 from the city for safety enhancements. The request was granted by Mayor Richard Moccia, the Board of Estimate and Taxation, and the Common Council.
According to Norwalk Board of Education Chairman Mike Lyons, he state grant is based on a percentage of what the local district has committed to safety.
“Norwalk’s original amount of $100,000 is what drove our original grant of $27-29K,” he said in a Thursday email. “I believe that this an additional percent increase based on that number, not the $500K, which was too late for that round.”
The awards, administered by the Department of Emergency Services (DESPP) and Public Protection in consultation with the Department of Education (SDE) and the Department of Construction Services (DCS), were based on a school security assessment survey conducted by each local school district that applied. Each municipality will be reimbursed between 20 and 80 percent, taken into account factors such as municipality’s grand list and overall number of need- based students.
DESPP received applications for proposed infrastructure projects, consisting of the installation of surveillance cameras, bullet proof glass, electric locks, buzzer and card entry systems, and panic alarms. A future round of funding will be announced soon.
State Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) said Norwalk’s congressional delegation is not in the loop when it comes to the BOE’s pursuit of state safety funding, and that the BOE does not communicate with state legislators.
“They have never collaborated with us,” he said.