CENTEGIX | Education

Federal Funding Sources for School Safety Solutions

CENTEGIX | Education

Federal Funding Sources for School Safety Solutions

Over the past several years, the US federal government has prioritized funding school safety solutions. Federal school safety grants provide funding for: security infrastructure updates, investments in new safety technologies, professional development, and security personnel. 

These federal funding sources are earmarked to improve school safety planning and emergency response and school mental health resources, including social-emotional learning curriculum and personnel. Districts pursuing this funding can increase their schools’ safety and provide resources for students’ and teachers’ well-being. 

Federal funding sources districts should consider for school safety solutions include:

ESSER Relief Funds

The Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act allotted approximately $13.2 billion to the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. ESSER grant awards were designed to address the lasting impacts of COVID-19 on elementary and secondary schools across the U.S. by providing emergency relief funds. 

The ESSER Act was passed in 2020 and funded a variety of measures intended to make schools safer and close gaps caused by the pandemic. Schools can still use ESSER federal funding sources to buy personal protective equipment, provide academic support, and improve mental health support to alleviate conditions worsened during the pandemic.

Here are the options for ESSER Relief Funds:


The ESSER I Fund provided $13.2 billion earmarked for schools to support a variety of school safety solutions, including:

  • purchasing new safety and security technology
  • addressing learning loss
  • implementing safety measures in preparation for re-opening


ESSER II was signed into law in December 2020 and provided an additional $54.3 billion in grant funding for state and local education agencies. These funds are earmarked for the same purposes as ESSER I funds; schools can use them to purchase school safety solutions, including additional technology and related resources.


In March 2021, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) was signed into law. This act further expanded ESSER federal funding sources. The ARP created an unprecedented $1.9 trillion package of assistance measures, including $122 billion for school safety solutions in elementary and secondary schools. ARP ESSER funds are provided to state and local education agencies to help safely reopen, sustain school operations, and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on students. The funds can be used for school safety technology and other investments to keep students and staff safe and healthy. These might include:

  • new and improved ventilation systems
  • staff training on pandemic protocols
  • student mental health resources

The obligation deadline to receive the funds is Sept. 30, 2024.

COPS School Violence Prevention Program

The 2018 Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing School Violence (STOP School Violence Act) gave the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) office the authority to award funding for security improvements to states, local governments, and federally recognized Indian tribes and their public agencies.

Eligible units of local government include counties, cities, and school districts. The program funds evidence-based school safety programs and technology to enhance security and reduce school violence. 

The School Violence Prevention Program will provide up to 75% funding for the following school safety measures for K-12 schools:

Coordination with law enforcement.

Training for local law enforcement officers to prevent violence.

Metal detectors, locks, lighting, and other deterrent measures.

Technology for expedited notification of local law enforcement during an emergency.

Any other measure that the COPS Office determines may provide a significant security improvement.

Title I Funding

Title I, Part A’s purpose is to provide all children with a fair, equitable, and high-quality education, and to close educational achievement gaps. Title I, Part A provides federal funding resources to schools with high numbers or high percentages of students from low-income families. The grant supports schools to ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards.

Title IV, Part A Funding

The Every Student Succeeds Act includes Title IV, Part A. These funds increase the capacity of states and local education agencies to provide all students with a well-rounded education, improve learning conditions in schools, and invest in technology to enhance academic achievement and digital literacy. Title IV, Part A funds can be used toward investments in instructional technology, digital learning, and safety and health programs.

IDEA Funding

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) supports early intervention and special education services for infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities and their families. It funds school technologies that aid in teaching and including students with disabilities. The IDEA allows the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services to supplement IDEA federal funding resources for technology that supports distance learning.

STOP School Violence Grant Program

The US Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) administers the STOP School Violence Grant Program. This program, initiated in 2018, seeks to improve school security by providing students and teachers with the tools they need to recognize, respond quickly to, and prevent acts of violence. The STOP School Violence Grant Program funds schools to develop and operate evidence-based school safety solutions, including threat assessment protocols and crisis intervention teams. Funds can also be used for new and improved safety technology and school security infrastructure. 

Eligible applicants include:

State and local governments, including city, township, and county governments

Independent school districts

Tribal governments

Specific nonprofit organizations

Private, public, and state-controlled higher education institutions

Units of local government

BJA’s section of the STOP School Violence Act of 2018 targets several school safety measures for funding:

Development and operation of anonymous reporting technology. These include hotlines, websites, digital apps, and other means by which threats of school violence can be reported.

Development and operation of a school threat assessment as well as convening a multidisciplinary team of multiple stakeholders to create an evidence-based assessment.

Specialized training for school officials in responding to mental health crises and staff training on topics including bullying, social-emotional learning, and suicide prevention. 

Training for school personnel and students to prevent student violence against others and self.

Hiring support personnel whose expertise directly supports school violence prevention.

Any other measure the BJA determines may provide a significant security improvement.

Greenlights Grants Initiative

The Greenlights Grant Initiative is a national program connecting schools across the country with billions of dollars in grant funding to make schools and students safer. This nonpartisan program identifies federal school safety grants and partners with school districts in the complex application process. 

The Greenlights Grant Initiative focuses on the school safety grants included in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. These include funding for:

Bolstering school security

Improving wellness

Mental health services

School security systems

Creating healthier learning environments

The organization provides free resources to assist school districts nationwide in accessing school safety grants. Greenlights Grant Initiative tools include webinars, guidebooks, how-to’s, and tutorials. These resources enhance districts’ ability to successfully apply for and receive federal grants. In turn, schools gain the resources they need to keep students safe and nurture environments conducive to learning.

Stronger Connections Grant Program

The 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) provides historic funding to support state and local education agencies and schools to establish safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments. The BCSA expands vital mental health services and provides support for states and districts to design and enhance initiatives that will promote safer, more inclusive, and positive school environments for all students, educators, and school staff.

The Stronger Connections Grant Program is one component of the BSCA. This program seeks to capitalize on the strength of local communities and leaders to improve schools’ climates and student achievement. The Stronger Connections Grant Program utilizes a portion of the $1 billion in BSCA funding for state education agencies (SEAs) to competitively award subgrants to high-need local education agencies (LEAs). The program seeks to award LEAs that employ evidence-based approaches to create comprehensive plans for creating safe, supportive, and healthy schools. As such, security measures, wellness initiatives, safety planning, and associated training may all be eligible for funding.

Initiatives that may receive funding include: 

Safety assessments and corresponding safety plans and strategies

Efforts to support a positive school culture and climate, including positive behavioral interventions and student wellness support

Programs to prevent and respond to acts of bullying, violence, and hate

Programs to support staff well-being

Training to improve trauma-informed practices

The Stronger Connections Grant Program mandates that SEAs and LEAs engage community members and local partners to identify areas for which they will seek funding. Because the program aims to assist schools and students most in need of services, LEAs applying for funding should seek input from a diverse set of community members and from communities that face systemic barriers.

The CENTEGIX Safety Platform™

A worthy investment to keep your staff and students safe.

Many of these federal funding resources award grant money to agencies and schools investing in new technologies that nurture a culture of safety in schools. CENTEGIX seeks to ensure that school staff and students receive the highest possible quality education while remaining safe inside their buildings. It shares this mandate with the federal laws that grant money for safety and security improvements in schools. 

CENTEGIX is the leader in incident response solutions. CENTEGIX innovates safety solutions to empower and protect people every day. We’re the leading wearable safety technology provider for K-12 education, and leaders nationwide trust our safety solutions to provide peace of mind in the workplace. Our Safety Platform is the fastest and easiest way for staff to get help in an emergency, from the everyday to the extreme. 

CENTEGIX Safety Platform™ is a worthy investment for schools seeking to spend their federal funding on effective, innovative, user-friendly technology. The Safety Platform is a multi-layered approach to safety.

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CrisisAlert™ is a wearable emergency button that allows staff members to request assistance from administrators and first responders from anywhere on campus.

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Safety Blueprint

Safety Blueprint™  provides dynamic, digital mapping to offer precise location information to responders during any kind of emergency.

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Visitor Management

Visitor Management allows schools to authenticate and manage visitors on campus. The Enhanced Visitor Management feature goes one step further to provide the location of all visitors in real time.

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CENTEGIX Safety Platform™, featuring CrisisAlert™, accelerates your response to emergencies. We’ve built the CENTEGIX Safety Platform to support you in the single most critical factor of incident response: time. Because in an emergency, every second matters. Find out more about how your district can apply federal funding toward an investment in CENTEGIX’s innovative multi-layered safety technology. 

Want to see your individual state’s school safety legislation and funding? Explore school safety standards by state and see what funding is available to your district.

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