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Governor’s School Safety Initiative

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On June 14, 2022, Gov. Reynolds announced $100 million in school safety funding to support Iowa’s 327 public school districts and 183 nonpublic and independent schools during a press conference with the Department of Public Safety, Department of Education, and the Department Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Initial funding is being made through the use of American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act and Emergency and Secondary Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. A breakdown of the fund is:

$75M - School Safety Improvement Fund (target hardening/security improvements)  
$7.5M - Vulnerability assessments for all 1,500 K-12 school buildings 
$6M - Digital critical incident mapping technology  
$4.5M - Radios for schools  
$1.5M - Digital applications and software for threat reporting and monitoring 
$5.5M - School Safety Bureau operational funding through 2026 Implementation of Services

The Governor’s School Safety Bureau will provide assistance and tools to identify, report, and assess school-based threats while still embracing local control.

New School Safety Anonymous Threat Reporting Tool

A new reporting platform will be available for FREE to all public and private schools starting in spring 2023.

The new platform enables students, school staff, parents and community members to submit safe, secure and anonymous safety concerns to help identify and provide intervention for at-risk individuals before they hurt themselves or others. Users will be capable of expressing concerns that negatively impact the learning environment or pose a threat to anyone’s safety whether that be self-harm, drug trafficking, gang activity, harassment or acts of violence. It also enables school administrators and law enforcement to create fast and effective interventions.

When introduced, the platform can be accessed by app, website, or phone. This program will be monitored and answered 24/7, and will permit trained dispatchers to engage in two-way communication with those raising concerns, to ensure the information is vetted and immediately shared with those who need it.

This general video provides a quick walkthrough of the user-friendly app and how to make a report.

School Safety Contact Form

The Governor’s School Safety Bureau is asking all schools to complete this School Safety Contact Form by Friday, December 16 to provide two contacts who should receive immediate notification of threats directed toward your schools.

Vulnerability Assessment and School Safety Improvement Fund

Request a Vulnerability Assessment

Vulnerability assessments are available now. Superintendents and head nonpublic school administrators can request an assessment through the School Safety Vulnerability Assessment Survey, located in the Other folder on the main Consolidated Accountability and Support Application (CASA) dashboard.

Each school district and nonpublic school that requests a vulnerability assessment through the CASA survey will be contacted via phone by the State of Iowa's third-party contracted entity, Tetra Tech, to establish communications. Once initial contact has been made, Tetra Tech will work with the point of contact at each district and nonpublic school to schedule their vulnerability assessments.

School Safety Improvement Fund

Up to $50,000 per school building will be made available through the School Safety Improvement Fund for schools to implement recommended safety measure capital improvements identified through the vulnerability assessment.

In addition to completing a vulnerability assessment, superintendents and head nonpublic school administrators must also complete the School Safety Improvement Funding Notice of Interest (NOI) Survey to indicate their interest in applying for these funds. The survey is located in the  “Other” folder on the main CASA dashboard. Superintendents and head nonpublic school administrators must complete this survey before Sept. 1, 2024, to indicate interest in applying for up to $50,000 per school building in School Safety Improvement Grant funds to implement recommended safety capital improvements identified through the vulnerability assessment. Only one response is needed per district/nonpublic school. Districts and nonpublic schools that indicate interest in applying for these funds will be sent application materials. Additional information concerning this grant funding opportunity can be found within the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) and associated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

If you have questions or technical difficulties regarding the school safety grant application, contact the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management by email at schoolsafetygrant@iowa.gov.

Emergency Radios for Schools

The application for an emergency radio closed on October 21, 2022. Refer to the School Safety Radio Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) webpage for more information.