Governor Baker Prioritizes Student & Teacher Safety with $40 Million Supplemental Budget Request
“Our goal over this period of time has not been to just provide more security, infrastructure and technology support, but also to assure that schools and communities have the tools and resources that are necessary to spot signs of trouble before there is trouble.”
-Governor Charlie Baker
Governor Charlie Baker has submitted a budget request to the state’s legislature for an additional $40 million to invest in Massachusetts school safety and security initiatives that are intended to create more safe and supportive schools.
In 2018, Baker’s administration passed a school safety grant program that awarded $15 million in grants statewide for security-related infrastructure and mental health support, but the governor cited the recent tragedy in Uvalde as the catalyst to finance additional initiatives to protect Massachusetts’ students and teachers. In his speech announcing the increased funding, Baker affirmed the importance of ensuring that, as the new school year begins, schools have the resources necessary to both take preventative measures and to respond and recover in the event of a violent critical incident.
Once approved, this school safety funding will be used for both statewide and school district-specific security enhancements including the following:
- A “Say Something” public awareness campaign to encourage people in all parts of the community to speak up when they see signs of potential danger
- Creation of a comprehensive school safety website
- Funding for districts to pilot an anonymous tipline
- Support for ongoing emergency response training for school officials
- Grants funding for childcare providers to improve safety measures and planning
- Matching security grants to assist school security and communication upgrades in K-12 public schools and higher education
These funds will improve Massachusetts school safety by making campuses safer, providing teachers and staff with necessary training, equipping the community at large to participate in keeping one another safe and creating a more supportive learning environment.
Solutions that Work Better Together to Support Massachusetts School Safety
Massachusetts school safety is top of mind for students, families and school staff. This additional funding will equip school leaders to put solutions in place to assure their community that school safety is a top priority, and the best way to maximize these funds is by implementing safety solutions that work better together. As the only school safety partner focused on holistic wellbeing, we offer a robust suite of solutions that help schools care for the whole child.
Safety & Security Suite: Operating as a single visitor, volunteer, panic button and emergency management solution set, our Safety & Security Suite integrates Emergency Management Suite and Visitor & Volunteer Management to ensure real-time, whole-campus oversight and accountability and improve communication pathways. The suite provides a variety of features, including silent panic alarms, robust safety checks, guidance to ensure Department of Education (DOE) compliance and comprehensive site mapping.
Risk Assessment: As the only Expert Service Consultants internationally recognized by A.M. Best’s Client Recommended Expert Service Providers for Risk Assessments, Navigate360’s team of board-certified Physical Security Professionals (PSPs) are exceptionally qualified to perform your risk assessment, which can give you peace of mind to stay focused on your school’s critical safety and security missions.
ALICE Training®: The ALICE program is a proactive, options-based active shooter response training program that empowers students and staff to survive in the face of violence. This trauma-informed, age- and ability-appropriate training program provides your schools with both eLearning and in-person instruction options and teaches proven techniques for safety drills and emergency response.
Detect: Combining both web filtering and digital scanning, Detect is the most comprehensive, all-encompassing digital safety solution available. This software helps identify and address a student’s intent to harm themselves or others by scanning digital content in real time and notifying school administrators of harm language found in school-owned email and public social media. It also utilizes a web indexing database of 3 billion URLs to protect students from potentially harmful content.
P3 Anonymous Tip Reporting: P3 serves as a forum for collaboration and accountability between school administrators, peace officers and mental health professionals to ensure every student’s needs are met. Our technology also powers well-known national and state-level tip lines such as Sandy Hook Promise’s Say Something program and Safe2Tell Colorado. As the leading anonymous reporting tool, our software empowers students, teachers and individuals to proactively share information about safety, bullying, self-harm and violence.
Behavioral Threat Assessment Training: Aligned with the Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines (CSTAG) or the National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) threat assessment model, this is a two-part behavioral threat assessment training program that combines online and in-person (available live or virtual) learning to build the confidence needed to identify and properly intervene when a child is showing signs of a mental health crisis.
Behavioral Threat & Suicide Case Management: This single solution will provide your school’s mental health professionals and behavioral threat assessment team members with evidence-based case management software that allows for continuum of care documentation and analytics reporting to proactively improve outcomes for students of concern.
We know it takes more than a single solution to take care of the whole child and the schools and community that surround them, which is why we believe in solutions that work better together. We can provide end-to-end solutions that support Massachusetts school safety from prevention, all the way through response and recovery.
Building a comprehensive safety plan can be a daunting task, but we are here to help. Speak with one of our safety specialists today to learn how you can maximize this additional funding to build a holistic ecosystem of whole-child safety this year.