On Oct. 3, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman released an update regarding the abundance of School Safety Program grant applications.
The response likely “will far exceed” the money approved.
“One of the greatest wins of the 2019 legislative session was the expansion of Arizona’s School Safety Program, which allocated $20 million of new funding for school counselors, social workers and school resource officers,” said Hoffman.
“After closing the grant application, our department has spent this past week conducting an initial review of the 896 applications submitted by 284 school districts and charter school organizations from across the state.”
She said there were more than 1,100 position requests, with requests for school counselors comprising roughly 40%t of the total requests. Of the total, 34% were for a school-based social worker and about 26% for a school resource officer.
“While it will take some time to get a complete picture of what schools have requested, our initial analysis shows that the demand will far exceed the $20 million in appropriated funds,” said Hoffman.
“School safety and the social wellness of our students is a top priority for my administration, and I recognize the urgent need for additional funds to meet the demand of school communities.”
Hoffman concluded that more funding is needed.
“I look forward to a continuing dialogue with the governor’s office and the legislature to address the clear and immediate need for more funding for this program,” she said.
“I urge our state leaders to join my call to action to meet the safety needs of our schools without delay."