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RACINE COUNTY — In the last month, the Wisconsin Department of Justice has awarded more than $25.2 million to 407 school districts and private schools through its School Safety Grant program. Ten of the districts/private schools that were awarded grants are in Racine County.

They are: The Drought School District (Norway J7), $19,128; St. Mary School in Burlington, $19,234; Trinity Lutheran School in Caledonia, $19,968; the Washington-Caldwell School District, $20,600; Yorkville School District, $20,810, Racine Christian School, $11,317; Sat. Charles Grade School in Burlington, $19,028; Union Grove High School District, $20,000; Concordia Lutheran School in Sturtevant, $19,927 and Trinity Lutheran School in Racine, $20,530. This makes for a total of $190,542 awarded to Racine County schools since July 10.

The only schools/districts in the county that applied for grant and haven’t yet received an award are EverGreen Academy, Racine Unified, Waterford High School and Siena Catholic Schools of Racine.

Since the first grant was awarded June 1, the DOJ has approved more than $45.7 million to go to 652 schools and districts. A total of 735 schools and school districts have requested funding through the first round of grants.

The money awarded through these grants is a portion of $100 million provided for school safety upgrades and training through Republican legislation passed earlier this year.

Districts in Racine County that were awarded grants previously are: Burlington Area School District, $163,000; Kansasville Grade School, $20,421; Waterford Graded School District, $79,675; North Cape School District, $22,584; Union Grove Elementary School District, $19,872; Muskego-Norway School District, $33,659; and Raymond School District, $18,580.

The total amount awarded to schools in the county so far is $548,333.

The DOJ has been releasing grant announcements regularly throughout the summer, and Milwaukee Public Schools was awarded around $3.3 million on Aug. 2.

Second round

On July 24, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel announced plans for a second round of safety grant funding that will be made up of the approximately $45 million left over after the first round of grants are awarded.

According to a press statement from the DOJ, the second round of funding is set to bolster student mental health, the creation of local School Safety Intervention teams as well as additional physical security upgrades. The DOJ encourages public and private K-12 schools to apply for the next round of grants, which will be awarded beginning in October.

Second-round grants will be awarded based on a per student formula. The award minimum will be $10,000, with a maximum of $2.5 million.

Schools who wish to apply for the second round of grant funding are required to submit an “intent to apply” by Aug. 13.

As of Aug. 7, the Office of School Safety had reviewed all first-round applications. All schools that applied have either received their awards, or the state is waiting for a response from the applicant.

Racine Unified plans to apply for the second round of grant funding.

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Caitlin Sievers covers cops, crime and the west-end communities. She's a lover of cats, dance and Harry Potter. Before moving to the Racine area she worked at small papers in Indiana, Illinois and Nebraska.

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