South Carolina Budget Earmarks Millions for School Security Upgrades

July 12th, 2023 by Joshua Huff

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster recently signed the state’s fiscal year 2023-24 appropriations bill, earmarking more than a billion dollars towards the state budget. This includes up to $20 million to beef up security at K-12 public and charter school districts. The security products spelled out in the bill are window covers, bullet-resistant glass and film, classroom and internal door locks and access control technology.

The school facilities eligible for safety upgrades are defined as locations with daily student attendance. Facilities that are not eligible are unimproved property, centralized district administration facilities or other facilities normally identified with interscholastic sports activities.

According to the bill, the state’s Department of Education (DOE) is tasked with developing an application process so that public and charter school districts can request funding for security upgrades aligned with school safety priorities and establish policies and procedures. Funding will be prioritized based on the percentage of students enrolled from low-income families, the age and condition of existing school facilities and the ability to begin construction in a timely manner.

Applications must be submitted to the department by Sept. 1, 2023. The DOE will submit a list of recommended grant awards no later than Nov. 30, 2023.

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