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The sudden intersection of these safety concerns in the past year has recently led President Joe Biden to sign rare bipartisan legislation to create new school safety policy and funding. That legislation included $1 billion in funding for schools to “create safe and healthy learning environments for all students,” with an additional $300 million to be made available for “training and equipment that can help during a threat of violence.”
That is significant financial support in this school safety bill, but it is by no means the only support available from the US federal government for school districts and community organizations looking to acquire school safety resources. For example, the Department of Education, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security all have grant programs for schools to improve their wider safety and security initiatives.
The US Congressional Research Service recently published a report on Federal Support for School Safety and Security with a comprehensive list of such programs. They support many school safety initiatives, including anti-violence measures, training, and support for schools to acquire broader safety and operational technology.
So how can schools improve safety and security? This article highlights some of the key funding programs identified in the report.
Learn about Real Time Networks’ solutions for educational institutions
Highlighted Programs from the Federal Support for School Safety and Security Report
Real Time Networks School Safety Solutions
Real Time Networks’ lines of key and asset management systems offer educational institutions from prekindergarten through postsecondary levels technological solutions for safety and operational needs supported by many of the school safety programs identified in the Federal Support for School Safety and Security report.
AssetTracer smart security locker systems
Education institutions face security and operational challenges most other industries don’t encounter. For example, many have to contend with open campuses. Higher education institutions also employ student workers across their campuses, in offices, as well as in campus shops, cafeterias, and other points of sale.
These institutions need innovative ways to secure the electronic devices, tools, and other physical assets full-time and student workers use on campus. University security lockers, like RTN’s line of AssetTracer smart lockers, automate many time-consuming and tedious tasks that come with securing educational assets. Since lockers can also track entire kits and all RFID-tagged components in those kits, some educational institutions also use lockers for managing facilities kits or security officer kits.
You can customize AssetTracer lockers to include firearms and LTL weapons storage for your institution’s security teams. Smart lockers give you an airtight record of who accessed which weapons and when. In addition, in-locker content surveillance systems help you ensure weapons are always accounted for. You can use scales and other in-locker tracking systems to measure consumable LTL weapons, like pepper spray canisters.
KeyTracer key security systems
Educational institutions can use a smart key security system, like KeyTracer, to track and control how anyone on their campus accesses keys and vehicle fobs. Unfortunately, institutions often wait to address their key security until after a problem occurs. If they’re lucky, all that will have gone wrong is that someone lost a key, not someone getting hurt. But even then, if that lost key was a submaster or master, rekeying costs can still be substantial.
KeyTracer systems automate key transactions and only permit access to the individual keys or keyrings a user is authorized to access. You can also present workflow checklists when users sign jets in or out so you can collect additional information about the facility or asset accessed with those keys during the work day.
Plan for the Future
Educational and student safety needs are constantly in flux. Therefore, you need adaptable safety and security technology that protects your students today and is ready to protect them against new threats several years down the road.
The funding sources in the Federal Support for School Safety and Security report can help educational institutions of all sizes get the resources they need to protect their students and educational community better. Technology is only one piece of the security puzzle institutions need to solve. Still, new security technology can be the platform on which they protect students through the 2020s and beyond.
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About the Author
Vice President of Marketing
Jay oversees marketing and strategic partnerships at Real Time Networks and has over three decades of experience in leadership roles in the financial services and technology industries.