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Center for Safer Schools awards more than $74 million in safety grants

The following is a press release from the Department of Public Instruction’s Center for Safer Schools

Two hundred school districts and charter schools across North Carolina will benefit from more than $74.1 million in school safety grants announced today by the Department of Public Instruction’s Center for Safer Schools. 

The funding will be used for safety equipment, school resource officers, training and services for students in crisis in elementary, middle and charter schools across the state. High schools were eligible for funding other than for school resource officers. 

All the school districts and charter schools that applied for School Safety Grant funding for the 2022-23 school year received an award and were notified last week. 

“The School Safety Grant enhances schools’ efforts to keep our students safe,” said Karen W. Fairley, executive director of the Center for Safer Schools. “We’re thankful that we had the funding available to distribute, and we know it will go to good use.” 

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt said the funding is critical to ensuring that schools are safe for students and staff. 

“School safety is a top priority for the Department of Public Instruction as it is for students, families, educators – all of us,” Truitt said. “It goes without saying that safety is an essential condition for effective teaching and learning. The Center for Safer Schools did a great job ensuring that each applicant received as much funding as possible to meet that critical need.” 

A full list of districts and schools awarded grants can be found here.

Qualifying Low Wealth Counties were eligible for $44,000 per school resource officer, with a required local funding match of $11,000. Non-Low Wealth Counties were eligible for $36,666 for an SRO with a local match of $18,333. 

Awards are subject to all administrative and financial requirements, including timely submission of all financial and programmatic reports; resolution of all interim audit findings; and adherence to allowable expenses. Upon successful completion of the mandatory reports, the SRO funding will be extended automatically to the 2023-24 school year. 

About the School Safety Grant 

In 2018, the General Assembly worked with then-state Superintendent Mark Johnson to launch a new School Safety Grant Program to improve safety in public school units by providing grants for school resource officers, services for students in crisis, training to increase school safety, safety equipment in schools and additional school mental health support personnel. 

Since then, more than $120 million has been awarded to public school units across North Carolina.  

About the Center for Safer Schools 

The Center for Safer Schools serves to promote safe learning environments for North Carolina K-12 schools. The CFSS serves as a hub of information and technical assistance on school safety to school faculty and staff, law enforcement, youth-serving community agencies, juvenile justice officials, policymakers, parents/guardians and students. CFSS staff focuses on school climate, school discipline and emergency preparedness concerns for North Carolina’s public K-12 schools. CFSS staff is available to provide training, guidance and technical assistance upon request for school faculty and staff and those working with children and adolescents. The CFSS is headed by Karen W. Fairley, executive director. 


EdNC staff reporting relies on staff, interns, and columnists.