Under a package of school safety initiatives proposed by Ohio Governor John Kasich, state schools could see additional grant money for security upgrades and face penalties for failing to submit safety plans.
According to The Associated Press, elements of this package have been added to a fast-moving midterm budget bill in Ohio. The state’s current law imposes no penalties for failing to file a required safety plan, the article says. However, state law does require schools to have plans on file with the attorney general for handling emergencies, including active shooter incidents. Out of 4,438 schools required to file such plans, 84 are non-compliant – 43 have outdated plans and 41 have filed no plans at all.
State Superintendent Richard Ross said 3,000 schools took advantage of $12 million made available for entryway security and communications last summer. Under the proposal, new grants would be available for security upgrades at both public schools ($10 million) and private schools ($7 million).
The governor’s plan would also provide free safety-plan consultation and training to districts through an existing federal grant. An existing state hotline would be equipped and publicized to accept tips on potential suicides, school shootings and bullying.