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Norwalk gets additional state funding for school security

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.

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Comments

8 responses to “Norwalk gets additional state funding for school security”

  1. M Allen

    Thank goodness the State came through with an additional $10,850 in funding. That should take some weight off the BOE as it looks to next year’s budget.

  2. LWitherspoon

    “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.”
    .
    How much state funding did other municipalities receive? Let me guess – Norwalk got $10,000 while spending $500,000 of our own money. West Hartford probably got $500,000 from the state while spending $10,000 of their own money.
    .
    I wish there were a way to get everyone in Norwalk to vote for Gov. Malloy’s challenger, unless he rectifies the tremendous unfairness of school funding in Norwalk.

  3. Norwalk gets more money for security in their schools….
    *
    But yet Westport, Wilton and Weston are in line for relief because their schools have some of the highest District Performance Indexes (DPI), a state measure of school performance.
    *
    And people wonder why the next generation is skipping over the city of Norwalk to live in and raise their children…
    *

  4. LWitherspoon

    As luck would have it, the Stamford Advocate answered my earlier question in part.
    .
    Norwalk received a total of $40,000 in state funding for school security improvements. Norwalk taxpayers are contributing another $500,000 for security improvements.
    .
    Stamford, in contrast, received a total of $626,266 in state funding to make school security improvements.
    .
    How is it that Norwalk is paying for its own school security improvements, while Stamford is getting more than $600,000 in state funds for security improvements?
    .
    I hope someone will ask Gov. Malloy this question the next time he comes to Norwalk looking for votes.

    Source: http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/local/article/State-increases-Stamford-Schools-security-grant-4979276.php

    1. Mark Chapman

      @L Witherspoon

      According to the lists that show all the awards, Stamford requested $1,735,495 for the second round. Norwalk requested $35,320. There was no request column for the earlier round of awards. The breakdown was:

      September (state-local match):
      Norwalk – state: $29,305; local: $66,092
      Stamford – state: $136,678;local: $347,820

      November (total amount requested, state funded, local match)
      Norwalk – requested: $35,320; state: $10,850; local: $24,470
      Stamford- requested: $1,735,495; state: $489,588 local: $1,245,907

      Norwalk’s decision to spend $500,000 more would have come after these requests were made. I have added the lists in attachments at the end of the story.

  5. LWitherspoon

    @Mark Chapman
    Thank you for adding the lists. Perhaps I am was quick to assume that Norwalk is getting the short end of the stick. If I did, it’s because we have seen that happen year in and year out with ECS funding.
    .
    So the million dollar question is why did Norwalk spend $500,000 of our City taxpayer money while receiving so little by way of state assistance? Were our security needs not eligible for the grant, was someone asleep at the switch, or something else?

  6. TG

    There is a whole lot of work that needs to happen-structurally even- to make each school in Norwalk truly secure. I understand there are some truly great ideas in place, but much more would need to be done. That tiny amount from the state, even augmented by the comparatively huge sum from Norwalk taxpayers, is throwing pennies at the problem. In truth, it’s just pretty sad that any money has to be put towards this. But that is our changing world. :/

  7. In the past, there were locked security doors with cameras — but “it failed” — now its “safety windows” – which will also fail. And they will.
    *
    No amount of money will make our schools safer. There will be always “something”
    to throw good money after bad — after all, look at our school system.
    *
    Like other readers have summed up…no amount of school breakfast or lunch programs or after school care (etc..) will raise the testing scores of the Norwalk children until there are engaged parents at home; where it all begins.

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