The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE)  and the New Jersey Schools Development Authority (SDA) are seeking input from education stakeholders on the Security Our Children’s Future Bond Act and school security grants. On June 7 the NJDOE sent out a link to a survey and a factsheet that discusses the bond act. Note that the deadline for replying to the survey is June 18.

The $500 million Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act, passed by voters in the Nov. 6, 2018 election, provides $350 million in grants for eligible projects that expand vocational school career and technical education programs in county vocational school districts and enhance school security in all school districts.

In the area of school security, the NJDOE has said that funding for the installation of silent panic alarms to directly alert law enforcement during an emergency to comply with P.L. 2019, c33, known as “Alyssa’s Law,” is prioritized.  According to the NJDOE, school districts may request retroactive funding for “Alyssa’ Law” compliance, as well as additional grant funding for school security upgrades that will be awarded on a competitive basis, should funds remain.

“Alyssa’s Law” was signed in February by Gov. Phil Murphy and requires all New Jersey public schools to install silent panic alarms that will alert law enforcement during emergencies such as an active shooter.

The New Jersey Schools Development Authority has been tasked with funding and managing the installation of these silent panic alarms in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Education.

The purpose of the public survey is to elicit general feedback, comments and concerns from the public on school security and the school security bond.

For additional information, contact the NJDOE by email at this address.