Miss. awards more school security grants

The state Board of Education has awarded school security grants to 24 more Mississippi school districts, but still hasn’t managed to spend even half the $5 million that the state Legislature appropriated for the program in 2013.

The board voted Friday to award $630,000. The Lauderdale County school district got the most money, $80,000.

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves spurred lawmakers last year to set aside $5 million for grants paying $10,000 each toward armed school resource officers. The program was meant as the state’s response to the Newtown, Conn., school shooting. Local districts must at least match the money, although an officer would typically cost more than $20,000 a year.

With $1.57 million awarded earlier, a total of $2.2 million has been disbursed. Of the 151 school districts in Mississippi, 73 have now received money from the Mississippi Community Oriented Policing Services programs. A total of 220 officers have been funded during the current budget year, which ends June 30.

Houston Chronicle
2/24/14