Stamas supports $18.65 million for school safety

Sen. Jim Stamas

Sen. Jim Stamas

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Stamas on Thursday supported a boost in current-year funding to make critical school safety improvements and help prevent school tragedies.

“Every Michigan child deserves a safe and productive place to learn,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “This immediate funding would ensure that all Michigan schools and communities have access to resources and effective safety technology that can best protect our students and teachers.”

The funding is included in Senate Bill 601, a supplemental appropriation bill for the current 2018 fiscal year. Grants would be available to public and nonpublic schools to purchase physical security equipment, public address systems, inspection and screening systems, shatterproof glass for exterior doors and windows or a school safety assessment.

“Thankfully, many schools in our state already have upgraded security to protect students and teachers. This funding would provide $15 million for competitive grants to schools that need to make critical school safety enhancements,” Stamas said. “This bill would also provide $3 million for a statewide school emergency notification system that would be available to all Michigan schools.”

The system app would allow authorized users to call 911 while simultaneously providing alerts to school staff and area first responders via text message, email and push notifications.

SB 601 also features an additional $500,000 to promote Michigan’s OK2SAY hotline and $150,000 for the Michigan State Police to add staff for the program.

“OK2SAY is the state’s most effective prevention-based system, giving students a confidential way to report concerns and threats,” Stamas said. “The program is doing a tremendous job in protecting people and saving lives, and I am proud to double the promotion of the initiative to help increase student awareness and participation.

“This funding is part of a comprehensive Senate school safety effort, and I look forward to enacting responsible, long-term solutions to protect Michigan students and teachers.”

SB 601 has been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.