Four schools in the area are receiving a combined total of about $231,700 from the state to create a safer environment for students and staff.
Osakis Public Schools are receiving $27,695. Other recipients include Alexandria Public Schools — $146,324, Brandon-Evansville Public Schools — $16,303 and Minnewaska School District — $41,353.
In Osakis, the money will be used for making school entrances more safe. The Osakis school building has five entrances, and Superintendent Randy Bergquist said the district is planning on making all five of those more secure.
“People will have to do some sort of buzz-in system and our secretaries will have technology capabilities to see who it is and find out what their purpose is for coming to school,” he said. “We need something here immediately.”
The most important things in a school are the students and staff, he said. The new security features will add more control over the entrances to ensure the safety of the people inside.
He is also looking into adding a school resource officer. This officer addition would not be a part of the safe school supplemental aid, however.
The state set aside $30 million to fund safety initiatives in Minnesota schools. This safe school supplemental aid must be used for expenses allowed by the safe schools levy. The levy, formerly known as the crime levy, allows school districts to levy for costs associated with student and staff safety issues, according to information from the Minnesota House of Representatives.
The money will be used for police liaison services, counseling, school security, gang resistance education training and other crime prevention and safety measures.
The funds come from a one-time Safe Schools Supplemental Aid appropriation in the state’s new education budget. The $30 million will be provided to school districts and charter schools based on the number of pupils served per district throughout last year.