(The Center Square) – State officials want to allocate $5.15 million for school security upgrades in New Jersey.
Gov. Phil Murphy and Acting Commissioner of Education Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan submitted the request as part of the Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act (SOCFBA). State legislators must approve the request.
“This second round of awards will make an additional 60 schools across the state more secure from the mountains of Warren County to the beaches of Cape May,” Allen-McMillan said in a news release.
Proposed upgrades include various school security measures, including surveillance cameras, shatter-resistant glass and remote locking and unlocking doors. It also includes silent panic alarms required under Alyssa’s Law, which lawmakers passed in 2019.
SOCFBA funding is from $500 million in bonds New Jersey voters approved in November 2018.
“Revitalizing New Jersey schools’ infrastructure is paramount to the safety of students and staff. Alyssa’s Law was a blueprint for school security systems and safety measures,” state Sen. Ron Rice, D-Newark, said in an announcement. “This second round of funding will expand the safety procedures that have already been established and fund districts across the state that truly need it.”
In May, Murphy submitted the initial $317.2 million of SOCFBA project proposals to lawmakers, and in July, the governor signed legislation to appropriate the money. The money went to school security, water infrastructure improvements, and career and technical education (CTE) in county vocational-technical school districts and county colleges.
Details about the third round will be announced later. The governor announced the money request last week; he is currently on vacation in Costa Rica.