What is the Minnesota Department of Education School Safety Grant and was CHPS a recipient?

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Governor Dayton and the 2018 Legislature passed School Safety Grants last spring. Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) designed an application process and lottery for selection. MDE received a total of 1,187 complete applications, requesting $255.5 million—more than 10 times the available amount of funding.

In October, MDE announced that 90 Minnesota public schools districts or charter schools were awarded School Safety Grants at 123 building sites across the state.

Columbia Heights Public Schools submitted six grant applications, one for each of the building sites. The District is grateful that two of the six sites were selected. MDE awarded the District two grants, one at Columbia Academy and the other at North Park Elementary. The grants are now being finalized with MDE. MDE has stated that “the funding is contingent upon any negotiations and clarifications that will be necessary before executing the award, including the submission and approval of a full work plan and budget.” The total grant amount requested for Columbia Academy was $77,368 and for North Park Elementary was $444,098, both amounts are contingent upon the finalizing of the grant. MDE is working its way through the grant recipients for follow up meetings. The District is currently awaiting notification from MDE when the planning meeting will be held and the grant award specifics and financials will be finalized. When the grant is finalized and approved, it will benefit and supplement what the District has planned in the area of school safety. The District will communicate to parents and the community more of the award details when the grant has been finalized and is official.

The District is grateful that MDE has recognized the need to support school safety across the state and specifically in Columbia Heights Public Schools. In light of escalating incidents of school violence across the Nation, the District can never do enough and always do more to protect students and address parents’ concerns about secure schools. Parents demand safe and secure schools and the community expects it.