Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman released the following statement on the abundance of School Safety Program grant applications:
“One of the greatest wins of the 2019 legislative session was the expansion of Arizona’s School Safety Program, which allocated $20 million of new funding for school counselors, social workers, and school resource officers. After closing the grant application, our department has spent this past week conducting an initial review of the 896 applications submitted by 284 school districts and charter school organizations from across the state. Position requests totaled over 1,100, with requests for school counselors comprising roughly 40 percent of the total requests, 34 percent were for a school-based social worker and about 26 percent were for a school resource officer. Many applicants requested a combination of positions, including some part-time positions.
“While it will take some time to get a complete picture of what schools have requested, our initial analysis shows that the demand will far exceed the $20 million in appropriated funds. School safety and the social wellness of our students is a top priority for my administration, and I recognize the urgent need for additional funds to meet the demand of school communities. I look forward to a continuing dialogue with the Governor’s office and the Legislature to address the clear and immediate need for more funding for this program. I urge our state leaders to join my call to action to meet the safety needs of our schools without delay.”