Financing new tools for your schools, staff, and students is always a challenge. With many competing priorities and limited budgets, you cannot make every purchase that might improve your school operations.

Safety should not be sacrificed because of budget. nSide has identified federal and state grants and funding sources that can offset the cost of bringing much-needed training, technology, and tools to your schools to continue building a culture of safety.

Federal Resources for School Safety

School districts are allocated money through Federal Formula Funds that are awarded using formulas to determine allocations. Student enrollment, income data and more are calculated into these formulas. Federal funds are also distributed through competitive grants for which districts can apply, and they are awarded based on criteria that applying districts must meet.

nSide has outlined vital school safety resources that offset allowable expenditures under several federal funding sources:

The COPS School Violence Prevention Program is designed to provide funding to improve security at schools and on school grounds using evidence-based school safety programs.

  • Coordination with law enforcement and training for local law enforcement officers to prevent violence.
  • Target-hardening of school facilities and other deterrent measures.
  • Technology for expedited notification of local law enforcement during an emergency.
  • Social media monitoring technology that analyzes conversations in near-real time.
  • Safety services, including building and campus mapping.
  • Training to prevent student violence against others and self, including training for local law enforcement officers, school personnel, and students. 
  • The development and operation of anonymous tip reporting systems to identify threats of school violence; can include mobile telephone applications, hotlines, and Internet websites. 
  • The development and deployment of school threat assessment and intervention teams that coordinate with law enforcement agencies and school personnel. 

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) authorizes significant funds to help increase the capacity of states, local educational agencies (LEAs), schools, and local communities to provide all students with access to a well-rounded education and to improve school conditions for student learning.

These funds can be used to increase access to comprehensive school psychological services, improve school safety and school climate, and strengthen parent and community engagement.

Districts must use at least 20% of these funds on efforts to improve student mental and behavioral health, school climate, or school safety.

State-Specific School Safety Funding & Programs

Many states make grants available to school districts to enhance specific school safety initiatives. These state grants can be applied to staff training, new technology, and more to ensure safer learning and teaching environments for students and staff.


In accordance with the Advancement and Technology Funding guidelines, the nSide team is here to provide you with solutions to help in school security and preparedness. Below are a few of the guidelines that meet the criteria to implement these funds:

  • Repairs or deferred maintenance of facilities for public education purposes
  • Classroom instructional support
  • Insuring facilities
  • Transportation
  • Purchase of education technology and equipment, or both
  • School security measures as a component of a systemwide security plan


In recent months, Gov. Bill Lee and the Tennessee General Assembly announced a one-time $40 million grant for Tennessee Public Schools and $14 million grant for Tennessee Non-Public Schools to invest in school safety improvements. This funding is an opportunity for schools to make necessary infrastructure upgrades and program implementations to create a safe environment for students and teachers.

For more information, please contact:

Alan Bentley