Michigan Safe Schools Grants Program was unfunded for 2 years

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LANSING, Michigan (WOOD) – The deadly oxford high school shootout highlights a key state program that has been around for years to help schools improve their safety. However, the state of Michigan has not funded this program for the past two years.

The Competitive School Safety Grants program has been in existence since at least 2015. All money awarded is supposed to be used to improve safety on school campuses.

In 2015, $ 4 million in grants were handed out, but that changed after the 2018 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., In which 17 people were killed. After the shooting, funding for the grant program increased to $ 25 million, according to the Detroit Free Press.

More than 195 school districts received funding the following year, including Oxford Community Schools. The state sent them nearly $ 443,000.

However, last July, Michigan State Police sent a letter to school administrators telling them that the state legislature had cut $ 10 million in funding for the program, effectively suspending it. This lack of funding also continued this year, despite the return of most schools to in-person learning.

Lawmakers and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer approved adding $ 10 million to the program next year as part of the approved state budget.

Members of the Michigan House Appropriations Committee unanimously approved a bill that would provide an additional $ 10 million to help districts pay school resource officials on Wednesday. Half of that money would come from federal COVID-19 relief funds.

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