Tennessee Appropriated $20M as Part of Safe Schools Act; Deadline to Apply September 30, 2022

Tennessee Safe Schools Act

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As part of the Safe Schools Act, the Tennessee General Assembly appropriated $20 million in recurring funds for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 school safety grants. The Safe Schools Act of 1998 originally established funding for Tennessee school districts, through the Tennessee School Safety Center, to enhance the safety of students and staff. The bill was amended in 2019 to provide for stronger accountability and planning processes, including an annual school-level security assessment and a requirement that funding is contingent upon compliance with all state laws, rules, and regulations related to school safety.  

How Tennessee Schools Can Use the Safe Schools Funding

School districts have flexibility in determining how to best utilize available funding; however, applications must demonstrate a clear connection between vulnerabilities identified in the most recent school security assessments and activities selected for grant funding.  

The funds are available to all Tennessee public school districts and may be used for one or more of the following purposes:  

  • Facility security and planning  
  • School safety personnel  
  • Violence prevention  
  • Training and drills  
  • Behavioral health 

The intent of these funds is to decrease the likelihood of violence or disruptive behavior occurring and to protect students and staff from harm when violence may occur. Other safety concerns such as fire alarms, sprinklers, updated playground equipment, vehicles, ATV’s, vape detection sensors and K-9 detection etc. do not fall within the realm of allowable expenditures for the Safe Schools Grant Program.

How Tennessee Schools Can Apply for Safe Schools Funding

All application information, other than the required school security assessments, is submitted via the state’s ePlan platform. Disbursements of grant funds are made on a reimbursement basis, either quarterly or monthly, by submitting a reimbursement request in ePlan. Districts are also responsible for the administration and oversight of these dollars in all schools, including both traditional and charter.  

As in prior years, the final funding and match amounts for Safe Schools will not be available until the Basic Education Program (BEP) is finalized; however, districts may use their FY 2022 grant amounts as an estimate. Key dates to remember are: 

  • September 30, 2022 Deadline for receipt of Safe Schools application   
  • The budget period is from the date the application is approved until June 30, 2023

Solutions to Help Make Tennessee Schools a Safer Place to Learn

School safety software can help Tennessee schools manage their entire school safety lifecycle: 

When you purchase Raptor software, you also receive free age-appropriate Active Shooter Training from Safe Kids, Inc.  

Raptor funding specialists are available to help throughout the grant process—just fill out this form to get started. 

Related Resources

Guide to K-12 Student Wellbeing
Strategies to Recognize, Document, and Support Students in Distress
Learn More

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