ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

$25 million in safety grants awarded to Minnesota schools

Aitkin, Brainerd and Pequot Lakes public schools are among 90 Minnesota school districts awarded school safety grants to be used for security and violence prevention improvements.

We are part of The Trust Project.

Aitkin, Brainerd and Pequot Lakes public schools are among 90 Minnesota school districts awarded school safety grants to be used for security and violence prevention improvements.

Funds can be used to pre-design, design, construct, furnish and equip schools, including renovating and expanding existing buildings.

Aitkin High School and Nisswa Elementary School each received $195,000, while Pequot Lakes middle and high schools received $45,200.

The 90 school districts received a total of $25 million.

"Students and teachers clearly need more support to ensure our kids are safe," Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said in a news release. "When we have more than 1,000 schools asking for over $250 million in funding to secure their buildings, we must respond with urgency. The school safety grants announced today only scratch the surface. A more comprehensive approach, including efforts to improve school climate, expand mental health services, and enact common-sense gun safety measures is needed."

ADVERTISEMENT

The Minnesota Department of Education, in consultation with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety's Minnesota School Safety Center, determined grant eligibility based on project priority, with half the grant funds available to schools outside of the 11-county metropolitan area. High-priority projects included improvements to exterior entry security, such as access controls, keyless entry systems, door locking and glass integrity, door alarm systems, and structure changes to main entrances. Additions or improvements to communication systems, such as electronic emergency notification systems for staff and first responders, were also considered high-priority projects.

Gov. Mark Dayton and the 2018 Legislature passed school safety grants last spring. Dayton proposed a more comprehensive Safe and Secure Schools Act package, including intervention and support for expelled students and improving student access to mental health support.

"Making sure that a student's learning environment is safe and secure is vital in ensuring they receive a world-class education," Rep. Josh Heintzeman, R-Nisswa, said in a news release. "(The) news that ... local school districts are set to receive school safety grants represents real, tangible steps that will ensure our students are safe. This is great news for our community and I was proud to support this funding during the previous legislative session."

What to read next
The Cowbot would be a way to mow down thistles as a way to control the spread of weeds, "like a Roomba for a pasture," says Eric Buchanan, a renewable energy scientist at the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris, Minnesota.
The Red River Valley Water Supply Project will sue farmland owners for eminent domain if they don’t sign easements before July 8, 2022. Farmers say the project is paying one-tenth what others pay for far smaller oil, gas and water pipelines.
Attendees to a recent meeting at a small country church on the border of Minnesota and South Dakota found armed guards at the church entrance. Then someone saw an AR-15, prompting a visit by the sheriff. It's the latest development in a battle for the soul of Singsaas Church near Astoria, South Dakota. The conflict pits a divisive new pastor and his growing nondenominational congregation, who revived the old church, and many descendants of the church's old families, worried about the future of a pioneer legacy.
“We have critical systems,” said Chief Deputy Shane Richard. “When we have a failure, we need someone with the knowledge of our systems here, someone who can basically spring into action and fix the issues.”