Two community colleges, two area high school districts and six area elementary school districts are among recipients of some $25 million in state funds being distributed to help pay for security improvements.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is distributing the money through its new Illinois School and Campus Safety Grant program, which will fund about 1,312 projects at 448 schools across Illinois.
“Our top priority for funding was to help schools establish a baseline security capability through such measures as reinforced doors, shatter-resistant glass and physical locks at primary public entrances,” Illinois Emergency Management Director Jonathan Monken said in a prepared statement. “These are the types of security enhancements experts say can buy valuable time for schools to implement emergency plans."
Among the recipients were South Suburban College in South Holland and Prairie State College in Chicago Heights. South Suburban will receive a $151,670 grant, while Prairie State will get $117,620.
Thornton Fractional Township High School District 215 will receive $81,523.30, while Crete-Monee Community School District 201U that includes elementary and secondary schools will receive $122,625.
Among area elementary schools, Calumet City District 155 ($30,200); Dolton District 149 ($77,250); Flossmoor District 161 ($57,250); Homewood District 153 ($9,725); Hoover-Schrum District 157 in Calumet City ($22,675) and South Holland District 151 ($39,975) will receive grants.
The Chicago Public Schools received an even $1 million for improvements to all of its elementary and high schools.
State officials said grant recipients were chosen from among 623 school districts that applied for funds.
“These projects will strengthen school security at main entrance points, providing school personnel with critical moments to alert law enforcement, activate plans to protect students and save lives,” Gov. Pat Quinn said in a prepared statement.