Ohio Awards Nearly $58M More For School Security Upgrades

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — More than 700 K-12 schools in Ohio will share in $57.8 million for security upgrades in the latest grants awarded through a state program.

The 708 schools in 57 counties are getting up to $100,000 each for “physical security expenses” such as new security cameras, public address systems, automatic door locks, visitor badging systems and exterior lighting.

The program was launched last year with an initial $5 million, then expanded with $100 million in grants this year.

In August, the state awarded $47 million to over 1,100 schools, but some declined the funding at that point, leaving that total at $42.2 million. The difference was included in the newest round of grants.

GOP Gov. Mike DeWine had announced plans to provide more money for school security upgrades in the days after the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. This year's grants are supported by federal pandemic relief funding the state received through the American Rescue Plan Act.

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Samantha Hendrickson is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.