Helping school districts bolster protections for students and prepare for emergencies, a bill sponsored by Assembly Democrat Roy Freiman would appropriate over $5.1 million in funding to school districts throughout the state for school security projects. The measure was advanced by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Thursday.
When New Jersey passed the ‘Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act,’ a portion of the approved $500 million in funding was dedicated for the purpose of enabling schools to install panic alarms. This bill (A-6258) appropriates $5,150,531 from the Securing Our Children’s Future Fund to the Department of Education so that it may provide grants to 60 school districts for these school security projects.
This funding will help bring New Jersey schools into compliance with Alyssa’s Law, which requires every public elementary and secondary school building to be equipped with at least one panic alarm or approved alternative that can alert first responders and law enforcement agencies in the event of an emergency.
Upon the bill’s passage, Assemblyman Freiman (D-Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon) issued the following statement:
“Equipping our schools with panic alarms will help first responders come to the aid of students and staff more quickly in the event of an emergency. It’s sad that measures such as this are necessary. However, in these troubling times this is a prudent action to protect the well-being of our children.”
The legislation now heads to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.