Mar 15, 2023
Stronger Connections Grant program helps school systems keep students and teachers safe by reinforcing single-points of entry

(BATON ROUGE, LA) - The Louisiana Department of Education is launching a program to fund single-points of entry on school campuses. The agency will direct $21 million through the upcoming Stronger Connections Grant program.

“We intend to use one-time funds to harden the perimeters of our schools,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley. “These funds will help support this foundational element of school safety.”

Louisiana’s funding source is the federal Bipartisan Safer Communities Act of 2022, which provides $1 billion in funding for states. The Stronger Connections Grant program provides funding to school systems on a competitive basis to support school safety efforts.

Access control, such as a single-point of entry or locked entry points, is a school safety best practice broadly supported among experts. Projects may include surveillance cameras, metal detectors, or other physical security equipment or construction renovations to enhance security at a single point of entry. The LDOE is also encouraging school systems to solicit feedback from educators, parents, and the community on school safety.

This is the latest action taken by the Louisiana Department of Education to help school systems keep students and educators safe. In October 2022, the LDOE announced a partnership with Crimestoppers GNO to make it easier for students, educators, and families to prevent acts of violence at school through the use of an anonymous reporting app. In August 2022, the LDOE hosted the inaugural Louisiana School Safety Summit. The event brought together around 800 educators and first responders to collaborate on keeping students safe. The second annual Louisiana School Safety Summit will take place June 15 in Baton Rouge at the Raising Cane’s River Center.

Earlier this week, Crimestoppers GNO presented Dr. Brumley with the Award of Excellence in Student Safety & Prevention. The State Superintendent received the honor during the 38th Annual Crimestoppers Awards Luncheon in New Orleans.

The LDOE will host a Stronger Connections Grant informational webinar for school systems on March 16 prior to opening the application window. The deadline for school systems to apply for funding is April 3. School system leaders can email questions to LDOE.grantshelpdesk@la.gov.