Half of the public schools in Connecticut will receive money to tighten the security at their schools.
The announcement by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy comes nearly one year after 20 children and six educators were massacred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
“We will never be able to prevent every random act of violence, but we can take the steps necessary to make sure that our children and our teachers are as safe as possible,” the Democratic governor told reporters Tuesday.
With 1,230 public schools in the state, the release of this $21 million means 604 schools will get upgrades like security cameras, bullet-proof glass, panic buttons and safe rooms. The legislature appropriated $15 million earlier this year for such improvements last year, but after districts requests millions more for upgrades, Malloy said he was able to find the $6 million in other “general item” categories approved by legislators.
In order to qualify for state funding, local school districts had to pay for 20 to 80 percent of the security upgrades themselves, depending on the districts wealth and ability to pay.
Districts to spend the most upgrading their security following the massacre in Newtown include Milford ($2.8 million), New Haven ($1.8 million), Greenwich ($1.6 million), Bridgeport ($1.4 million) and Westport ($1.3 million).
While half of the state’s public schools have been armored, the 372 private schools in the state and the vocational-technical high schools were not eligible for these state security grants.
“I think there is going to be a need to put in additional money,” Malloy said.