Representative John Bell announced that Wayne County Public Schools will receive funds for additional school safety resources.
Thanks to funding from the N.C. General Assembly, Wayne County Schools has been awarded $984,000 in additional school safety resources for the 2022-2023 school year.
The funding, which is part of more than $74.1 million in school safety grants announced across the state by N.C. Department of Public Instruction’s Center for Safer Schools, will be used for safety equipment, school resource officers, training and services for students in crisis.
In a joint statement, local legislators Rep. John Bell, Rep. Jimmy Dixon and Senator Jim Perry praised the announcement, “This is great news for students, parents and teachers in Wayne County. Enhancing school safety and protecting our children has been a top priority for us in the General Assembly, and we’re excited to see these resources get to our local communities.”
In 2018, the Republican-led N.C. General Assembly authorized 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.
“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.”