Several Virginia schools have been awarded grants by the Virginia Department of Education to enhance security at their campuses.

In a news releases, the Virginia Department of Education announced $12 million in state School Security Equipment Grants to go toward protecting students, faculty and visitors in 489 schools in 102 school divisions. The grants will include monies for video monitoring systems, voice and video internal communications systems, school bus interior cameras, mass notification systems, visitor-identification systems, access control systems, two-way radios, security vestibules and other security upgrades.

“This year, we have doubled the amount of assistance available to help Virginia school divisions protect our students and the educators, administrators, and staff dedicated to preparing them for success,” Governor Ralph Northam said in the statement. “We remain focused on supporting students and their families in navigating the pandemic and preparing for in-person learning to resume, which includes ensuring that our schools have all the necessary technology, equipment, and systems to keep everyone safe and to respond to emergencies.”

The 2019 Appropriation Act approved by General Assembly doubled the total annual appropriation for the grant program from $6 million, to $12 million. The 2019 General Assembly also approved the governor’s proposal to increase the maximum award per school division — effective last year—from $100,000, to $250,000.