Local schools receive state funding boost for safety upgrades


STATEHOUSE (Oct. 3, 2023) – Several Vanderburgh County schools recently received a combined total of more than $622,000 through the state’s Secured School Safety Grant Program, according to area lawmakers.

State Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) said the funding is part of the state legislature’s significant investments this year in school safety, which totaled $29.8 million in state matching grants across 474 schools in Indiana.

“Before we can teach, we must first ensure that our students and teachers are safe in the classroom,” said McNamara, who also works as a school administrator.

She said funds can be used for a range of safety needs like support for resource officers and law enforcement officers in schools, equipment and technology, active-event warning systems, threat assessments, and student and parent support services programs. In 2023, McNamara authored a new law expanding the list of possible uses for the grants to include help covering the costs of much-needed technology upgrades, and to have better coordination with local government and law enforcement.

“Adding these resources and establishing safety plans in all of our schools is a worthwhile use of this money,” McNamara said.

Local schools receiving grants include:

  • Annunciation Catholic School at Christ the King, $34,500;
  • Annunciation Catholic School at Holy Spirit, $41,895;
  • Corpus Christi School, $35,000;
  • Evansville Day School, $50,000;
  • Evansville Lutheran School, $27,921;
  • Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp., $100,000;
  • Good Shepherd School, $35,000;
  • Holy Redeemer School, $40,914;
  • Holy Rosary School, $35,001;
  • Mater Dei High School, $40,000;
  • Reitz Memorial High School, $50,000;
  • Resurrection School, $35,000;
  • Signature School Inc., $27,563;
  • St. Benedict Cathedral School, $15,500;
  • St. Joseph School, $30,000; and
  • Westside Catholic School, $24,414.

According to State Rep. Tim O’Brien (R-Evansville), Hoosier schools have received about $163 million in school safety matching grants since 2014.

“I think it’s great that we are investing in new technologies and better coordination between schools and law enforcement,” O’Brien said. “Different schools have different security needs, and these grants give them the flexibility they need to address their unique concerns.”

“Students and staff deserve to be a part of a learning environment where they feel safe and can keep the focus on learning,” said State Rep. Matt Hostettler (R-Patoka). “These grants provide funding for school resource officers, security systems and other improvements to meet the needs of individual schools.”