School districts have about five weeks remaining before applications are due to the state for funding to improve school safety.
Earlier this year, state lawmakers set aside $20 million over two years in matching grant money to allow schools to fund various school safety measures.
The deadline for schools to submit proposals to the Department of Homeland Security is Sept. 30.
On Monday, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller visited Fort Wayne to speak with local groups and encourage school administrators to apply for the grant.
In the fall of 2012, Zoeller sent surveys to school corporations, law enforcement officers and Indiana residents asking about school safety and school resource officers.
The survey showed overwhelming support for school resource officers, but also suggested that teachers in many districts thought more security measures were needed to ensure students’ safety, he said.
The grants, from the Indiana Secured School Safety Fund, have been earmarked for school resource officers, consultants to help districts create a safety plan or improvements to school buildings by adding bulletproof glass, electronic access points to doors or other safety equipment.
School districts with more than 1,000 students, or a group of school districts applying together, can apply for a $50,000 matching grant – funding that must be matched by the individual school district. Districts with less than 1,000 students can apply for a $35,000 matching grant.
Zoeller said he understands some school districts are weary of starting a program that hasn’t been put into the state’s budget for the future.
“It wasn’t a budget year when this went through so right now the funding is only for two years,” he said.
Zoeller said he plans to return to lawmakers and encourage them to continue to provide funding.