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Schools awarded security grants

Buckingham and Prince Edward schools are just two of the many public schools that recently received tens of thousands of dollars of funding in school security equipment grants announced by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).

In a Friday, Dec. 4, press release, VDOE announced $12 million in state school security equipment grants. The 2020 awards are set to double the state’s investment in safe schools.

According to the release, Buckingham County Public Schools (BCPS) is set to receive $98,522 in security funding for Buckingham County Elementary, Buckingham County Prekindergarten Center, Buckingham County Primary and Buckingham County Middle School.

The release stated Prince Edward County Public Schools is slated to receive $22,400 for Prince Edward County Elementary School.

“We are excited to have been awarded the security equipment grant,” BCPS Superintendent Dr. Daisy Hicks said Friday, “We wrote the grant for $172,000, and we have been awarded $98,522. These funds will be used to upgrade security equipment at the schools.”

Through the program, schools like Buckingham and Cumberland will receive grants to pay for things like video monitoring systems, voice and video internal communications systems, school bus interior cameras, mass notification systems, visitor-identification systems, access control systems, two-way radios, security vestibules and other security upgrades.

The release states that the 2019 Appropriation Act approved by the General Assembly doubled the total annual appropriation for the program, effective this year, from $6 million to $12 million.

“This year, we have doubled the amount of assistance available to help Virginia school divisions protect our students and the educators, administrators and staff dedicated to preparing them for success,” Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam was quoted in the release. “We remain focused on supporting students and their families in navigating the pandemic and preparing for in-person learning to resume, which includes ensuring that our schools have all the necessary technology, equipment and systems to keep everyone safe and to respond to emergencies.”