Senator Schiavoni Introduces Legislation To Protect Students
Bills would invest in bullying prevention and school safety
February 26, 2015
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Columbus—Today, Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) introduced two bills aimed at protecting students in Ohio’s public schools. Senate Bill 92 would appropriate additional funding for school safety projects and Senate Bill 93 would create the Bullying Prevention Grant Program.
“Protecting our students and creating a safe place for them to learn is the foundation for success in our schools,” said Senator Schiavoni.  
SB 92 would appropriate an additional $34 million dollars in both fiscal years 2016 and 2017 to be used for school safety projects such as upgrading security equipment, and hiring additional security officers.  Funding distribution would be based on a district’s enrollment, with four tiers ranging from $25,000 for small districts, to $100,000 for large districts.  
To maintain accountability, school districts would be required to submit an application to the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) on how they will use the funds to increase school safety.  An ODE approval process will then consider and approve applications that meet predetermined criteria.  Applications would be non-competitive, so any approved district safety project would receive funding. 
“This legislation gives school districts the flexibility to address their most pressing safety concerns,” said Senator Schiavoni.  “They could purchase security cameras and door locks or hire an additional school resource officer or guidance counselor depending on their particular needs.”
The Bullying Prevention Grant Program would offer one time funding to school districts based on the size of their student population. The funding is to be used specifically at middle schools and school districts would have the flexibility to decide what type of programming would have the best impact on their student population. The State Board of Education would be tasked with overseeing program implementation and the application process.
“Middle school students are particularly vulnerable to bullying,” said Senator Schiavoni.  “That’s why this program focuses on the age group where intervention, education and awareness can help prevent future problems.”

Both of these bills were previously introduced in the 130th General Assembly.


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