Oklahoma Legislature passed multiple bills in 2023 to improve the safety and security of educational environments. Senate Bill 101 and House Bills 2903 and 2904 were initiated to aid public schools, technology center schools, private schools and institutions of higher learning in strengthening preparedness for active threats and purchasing new safety equipment.
Every second counts in an emergency, and Oklahoma schools are investing in the right technology to ensure an expedited and organized response that will surely save more lives. It’s what StrataSite was built for.
- Scott Lowry, StrataSite President
Included in allowable expenses under this legislation is interoperable communications equipment to enable live communication between schools and local authorities during an emergency situation. According to Scott Lowry, president of StrataSite, critical incident digital mapping from StrataSite is GIS-compatible and can be used in conjunction with interoperable communications equipment, allowing immediate transmission of data between schools and emergency response agencies. “Every second counts in an emergency, and Oklahoma schools are investing in the right technology to ensure an expedited and organized response that will surely save more lives. It’s what StrataSite was built for.”
To be eligible for an Oklahoma School Security Grant Program award as part of Senate Bill 101, an institution of higher learning, technology center school, public school, or private school shall:
- Have undergone a risk and vulnerability assessment conducted by the Oklahoma School Security Institute; and
- Agree to expend grant funds on items recommended by the risk and vulnerability assessment and/or to provide behavioral threat assessment and management training to employees.
Additional funding eligibility considerations include:
- ODEMHS requires that Costs charged to this project are subject to advance written approval by ODEMHS. Allowable costs shall clearly relate to and further the recommendations of the Risk and Vulnerability Assessment.
- ODEMHS requires that use of ODEMHS funding to pay for de-escalation and behavioral threat assessment training and physical security enhancements must be approved in writing by ODEMHS in advance. Allowable costs may include, but are not limited to, cameras, gates, lighting, locks, doors, windows, security geofencing, entry control and associated hardware and equipment, interoperable communications equipment, access control systems, ballistic film, and ballistic storm shelters, in accordance with 74 O.S., § 51.2b(D)(2).
- Only Property that is approved in writing by ODEMHS will be permitted to be purchased with grant funds. As a rule, Property purchased with ODEMHS funding must be allowable for the respective grant program.
Additional opportunities for funding through House Bill 2903 and House Bill 2904 can be accessed through the "School Security Revolving Fund" for security planning and upgrades, as specified in HB2903 below:
SECTION 1. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 5-148.1 of Title 70, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:
- The State Department of Education shall establish and maintain a three-year pilot program known as the School Resource Officer Program.
- School resource officers employed or contracted by school districts participating in the School Resource Officer Program shall successfully complete law enforcement active shooter emergency response training given by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) and approved by the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety.
- For purposes of this section, "school resource officer" means a law enforcement officer with sworn authority and training in school-based law enforcement and crisis response who is assigned by an employing law enforcement agency to work collaboratively with one or more schools using community-oriented policing concepts.
SECTION 2. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 5-148.2 of Title 70, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:
- There is hereby created in the State Treasury a revolving fund for the State Department of Education to be designated the "School Security Revolving Fund". The fund shall be a continuing fund, not subject to fiscal year limitations, and shall consist of all monies received by the State Department of Education from:
- Reimbursements, grants, or other monies received from other state agencies and entities for school security;
- Reimbursements, grants, or other monies received from the United States government obligated to school security projects;
- Gifts, donations, and bequests; and
- Monies appropriated or apportioned by the Legislature.
- All monies accruing to the credit of the School Security Revolving Fund are hereby appropriated and may be budgeted and expended by the State Department of Education for the purposes of:
- Establishing and maintaining a School Resource Officer Program; and
- Providing physical security enhancements for schools including, but not limited to, school resource officers, cameras, gates, lighting, locks, doors, windows, security geofencing, and ballistic storm shelters. Monies in the School Security Revolving Fund shall supplement and not supplant existing school security funding.
- Expenditures from the School Security Revolving Fund shall be made upon warrants issued by the State Treasurer against claims filed as prescribed by law with the Director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services for approval and payment. Expenditures from the School Security Revolving Fund shall not exceed Fifty Million Dollars ($50,000,000.00) in any fiscal year and shall be divided equally among every public school district in the state.
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