More than 450 Wisconsin schools have applied for safety grants
Oconomowoc Superintendent Roger Rindo says school safety grants allow them to go above and beyond their usual safety budget.
“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to enhance the measures that we already have in place.”
Oconomowoc is one of about 450 schools that have officially begun the application process for the $100 million in school safety grants, which were authorized by the state legislature at Gov. Scott Walker's request following the Parkland High School shooting.
Attorney General Brad Schimel says about 30 of the $100 million will go toward "primary grants" which will ensure every school in the state has a secure main entrance point and shatter proof glass.
“Those are things that we know are basic safety things that have made a difference in schools that have faced a potential for violence, or actual violence occurring," Schimel said.
Rindo says all Oconomowoc schools have that secure main entrance already, so they are looking for shatter-proof glass and other advanced measures.
“Some sort of phone app that’s out there that would provide for a more immediate notification for parents," Rindo said. "Despite our best efforts, when you’ve got emails that have got to go out to over 1,000 people, it takes time to run through the system.”
To get the grants, every school needs to train staff on trauma informed care, submit their blueprints to the Department of Justice, and partner with local law enforcement.
“it’s really really nice because sometimes they’re able to have a fresh set of eyes," Rindo said. "Sometimes we don’t see the forest because we’re staring at the tree. Those are trained experts.”
Schimel says he’s not concerned that only 450 of about 3100 state schools have applied for the grants, but he hopes they don’t all wait for the deadline.
“we really want to get these done during the course of June, so that the schools have then, six or seven weeks before school starts again, to get these procedures in place.”
The deadline to apply is June 8th. Schimel said he does not anticipate moving the deadline.