It's an unfortunate reality for many schools and school districts around the country: there's simply not enough money in the budget to meet every school need.
It takes a lot to run a successful school. From paying teachers a deserving wage to ensuring that students have the supplies and modern educational tools they need, those line items add up quickly.
It makes sense, then, that cuts and concessions are often made. One of the areas that is often subjected to cutbacks is school safety and security.
On some levels, it makes sense: if the choice comes down to buying updated textbooks or installing a new school surveillance system, the right choice is pretty clear.
However, it's also pretty clear that school security is of the utmost importance. No school wants to feel like it isn't doing enough to protect its students from harm.
Fortunately, resources exist to help remove some of the burden from schools seeking a security upgrade.
Where to find school security grants
Several organizations, from government entities to charitable foundations, offer grants to deserving institutions. These grants come in varying amounts, from hundreds of dollars to millions of dollars.
Grants are used for a variety of different things, from paying for medical studies to improving sidewalks in overlooked communities.
In education, grants are often used for things like financing special educational experiences (like semesters abroad), studying new teaching techniques or to funding scholarship programs.
However, some government branches and grant foundations also offer grants to perform physical upgrades to schools, including purchasing new teaching materials and, yes, upgrading school security systems.
The question, of course, is where to find these grants for school security.
Here are a few places you can look.
1. Use the federal government's database
Unsurprisingly, the U.S. government is one of the main distributors of grants. These grants are issued to all kinds of different organizations, but schools and other education-related organizations are among the top targets of federal grant programs.
Grants.gov is the U.S. government's central portal for finding grant opportunities. The portal is managed by the Department of Health and Human Services and allows users to search for funding opportunities by keyword.
At the time this post was published, a search for "school security" returned dozens of results. Read carefully, however: just because a result is returned doesn't mean it's a perfect match for your needs. It's important to read the individual grant criteria.
2. Try a foundation from a popular home improvement store
It seems like an odd fit, doesn't it?
But it's true: Lowe's, a popular home improvement store, has been helping schools across the country for more than a decade. The program, Lowe's Toolbox for Education, gives millions of dollars annually to schools that need a funding boost to complete important projects.
According to the Toolbox website, Lowe's gives preference for "funding requests that have a permanent impact, such as facility renovations and safety improvements."
3. Check with the U.S. Department of Education
This one is somewhat similar to Grants.gov, but its sole focus is the education sector. The Department of Education offers a number of different grants for everything from individual schools to state education agencies.
You can search the database using certain keywords, or can sift through grants by eligibility. Like the Grants.gov portal, it's important to check the funding dates and statuses, as some grant postings remain visible even after the process has been completed.
If you're looking for funding to enhance school security, chances are you're looking at software and hardware options as well! Our access control team is here to assist you with your search. Let us help you by discussing your paint points, identifying areas of weakness and more — all with no obligation!