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Schools plan uses of grant funding

Students move between periods during the 1 p.m. class change at Mars Area High School on Monday, Sept 12. Cary Shaffer/Butler Eagle

In the upcoming year, Butler Area School District’s buildings will see upgrades to entrances and exits. Classroom door locks will be replaced, and some schools will receive new public address systems to be used for emergency announcements.

Through funding from a new grant program, Butler Area and other school districts across the county will see various new programs, equipment, and approaches to address safety and mental well-being. Pennsylvania school districts have the opportunity to use funds from the state Commission on Crime and Delinquency for improvements and expansions to school security and mental health offerings.

As part of the 2022-2023 state education budget, schools were allocated funding from the School Safety and Security Program. Across the state, the funding amounts to $190 million, with $95 million going toward mental health initiatives and $95 million going toward physical security enhancements.

Districts were required to submit requests for using the funding by Aug. 31. While each school district was guaranteed to receive their allocated funding, the specific programs, upgrades, or equipment that the funds are spent on must be approved by the state based on specific criteria. Schools received varying funds based on a base amount of $100,000 combined with an analysis of their average daily membership.

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