What is PA Act 44 of 2018? On June 22, 2018, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed Act 44 of 2018 into law, creating a School Safety and Security Committee (SSSC) within the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD).
It’s important to note that Act 44 went into effect immediately, demonstrating Pennsylvania’s commitment to prioritizing school safety and security. With this law in place, parents, educators, and students can feel more confident and secure in their schools.
What Does PA Act 44 Do?
The law mandates the appointment of School Safety and Security Coordinators and created the School Safety and Security Committee within PCCD. This committee is responsible for developing criteria to assess school safety and security. That means they are always on the lookout for ways to make schools even safer.
And they’re not just sitting around – they establish a registry for vendors who can conduct safety assessments. So, schools have access to the resources they need to keep everyone safe and sound. The committee also issues surveys to school entities to review their security preparedness. That way, they can identify areas that need improvement and make the necessary changes.
But that’s not all – they also administer funding through grants, which means that schools have access to the financial resources they need to implement safety measures. So, students and staff can focus on learning and thriving in a safe and secure environment. (Source: PCCD Overview of Act 44 of 2018).
Office of Safe Schools – PA Act 44
“Previously, the Office for Safe Schools was authorized to make grants in two categories, with 40% of funds appropriated to be used for programs which address school violence, and the other 60% of funds for grants to school entities, municipalities, local law enforcement agencies and approved vendors for programs which address school violence by establishing or enhancing school security, including costs associated with the training and compensation of school resource officers and school police officers. Act 44 changed the percentage split to 25% and 75%, respectively. In addition, any grant funding for the 75% category above the amount in 2017-18 may be prioritized for nonpublic schools” (Pennsylvania School Boards Association).
School Safety and Security Committee – PA Act 44
Act 44 also required that the School Safety and Security Committee within the PCCD establish best practices for school safety security assessment criteria and administering the grant program by September 30, 2018. These assessments include criteria for physical assessment, policy, and training assessment, and student assistance and behavioral health support assessment. The Committee must review these criteria at least every three years.
By October 31, 2018, the Committee was required to establish safety and security assessment provider registration criteria for individuals and security companies to conduct school safety and security assessments.
The Committee was also tasked with administering the program using money from the state School and Security Fund. “The grants must be geographically dispersed throughout the state and be used by school entities to supplement, not supplant, existing school spending on safety and security. No school entity may receive more than 10% of the funds available for the program, and each school district that submits a meritorious application shall receive a minimum grant allocation of $25,000 annually” (PSBA).
PA Act 44 Also Does the Following:
- Expands PA State Police’s Risk and Vulnerability Assessment Team.
- Establishes mandatory school safety training for employees.
- Establishes standards for school police officers, school resource officers, and security guards.
- Establishes the Safe2Say Program in the Attorney General’s Office
SOURCE: Source: PCCD Overview of Act 44 of 2018)
LARGO Consulting Services was named an Approved School Safety and Security Assessment Provider in February 2019.
“We are very excited to be approved as a PCCD School Safety and Security Assessment Provider,” said Bernard Gollotti, CPP, LARGO Founder and Senior Security Consultant. “Helping schools to provide a safe and secure educational environment where students, teachers, and administrators can excel is strongly aligned with our company’s professional expertise and mission.”
LARGO Consulting Services, LLC is committed to providing safe and secure environments where you live, work, study, and play. For more information about our physical security services, security consulting, business services, LARGO Secure Schools, or our marketing, social media, and branding services for security professionals, please contact LARGO Consulting Services, LLC online or call 833-LARGOCS. We also invite you to connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.