Friday, July 11, 2014

Area districts get state money for resource officers

January 23. 2014 11:40PM

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Five Luzerne County school districts were awarded a total of $213,695 to pay for school resource officers or police inside schools.

The money is part of $3.9 million Gov. Tom Corbett announced will be shared by 81 schools and municipalities.

Locally, the money awarded went to Dallas, $58,000; Greater Nanticoke Area, $36,224; Hazleton Area, $40,000; Pittston Area, $39,471; and Wilkes-Barre Area, $40,000.

The new grants were created through legislation signed into law last year that expanded the existing Safe Schools grant program. Schools and municipalities could apply for up to $60,000 for a school resource officer and up to $40,000 for a school police officer.

Municipalities that won grants must use them only to assign an officer to schools within municipal borders. No Luzerne County municipalities were on the list of winners.

Grant winners must fund the position for at least two years. If funding is available in 2014-15, grant winners announced Thursday will be eligible to get 50 percent of this year’s award.

The law that created the grants was authored by state Sen. Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson County.

In a news release, Corbett said it is just a start to safer schools.

“This funding is the first step in providing schools with resources to ensure our students are learning in a safe and secure environment,” the governor said.

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