This bill requires the department of education (the "department") to establish and administer a school bulletproofing grant program. The purpose of the program is to provide grants to eligible schools to have installed a clear, bullet-resistant or entry-resistant film on the glass panel of each exterior entry or basement-level window and door to prevent individuals from entering the school building without authorization by breaking the glass in an exterior entry or basement-level window or door. As used in this bill, "eligible school" means an LEA or a public charter school located in a county that has a crime rate of 13 percent or higher for violent offenses as of October 1, 2023, based on Crimelnsight data from the Tennessee bureau of investigation, CJIS division, statistical analysis center.
This bill creates a separate fund within the general fund to be known as the school bulletproofing grant fund. The fund is composed of funds appropriated by the general assembly for the fund and gifts, grants, and other donations received by the department for the fund. This bill states that it is the legislative intent that funding in the amount of $100 million be appropriated in fiscal year 2023-2024 in an appropriations act for awarding grants from the fund.
Subject to the availability of funds, this bill requires the department to allocate and disperse grants each fiscal year to eligible schools. The grants must be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. A grant is limited to the cost associated for the school to install bullet-resistant or entry-resistant film in accordance with subsection (b); provided, that the grant is not more than $50,000 per eligible school in a fiscal year.
This bill authorizes the state board of education to promulgate rules to effectuate this bill.
On or before January 1, 2025, and by January 1 of each subsequent year, this bill requires the department to prepare a report to the general assembly regarding the funds received and payments made by the fund.