Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine determined in consultation with the Ohio Department of Education that Blanchester schools would qualify for a school safety and training grant totaling $8,797.05 for the current school year, according to a press release from the district.
House Bill 318, signed into law in August, appropriated $12 million for school safety initiatives, training and school climate programs for more than 1,700 Ohio public schools.
In September, Blanchester Superintendent Dean D. Lynch attended a Safety Summit in Grove City chaired by U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers and attended by Ohio House Rep. Gary Scherer, the office for Ohio Senator Bob Peterson and other legislators.
Lynch shared with his colleagues from the Columbus area and legislators that it was his understanding House Bill 318 required school districts to write a grant proposal to receive the safety funds and the difficulty rural school districts have competing with urban school’s district for grant dollars.
“Urban districts have resources and the ability to hire grant writers whereas rural districts do not have the luxury of such resources and assets,” he said.
“I don’t know whether or not sharing my thoughts with U.S. Representative Stivers in September changed the requirements of HB 316; usually when all is said (in meetings) there is more said than done,” Lynch said. “However, I greatly appreciated Representative Stivers’ undivided attention to the issue facing rural school districts when it comes to writing grants.”
”Surprisingly, the next day, I received a call from an ABC affiliate in Columbus requesting to do a story on safety funding and rural schools,” Lynch said.
“Once we received the letter form the Mike DeWine, Ohio Attorney General’s Office and learned a cumbersome time consuming written grant proposal was no longer required, we promptly submitted our application and received our allotted dollars on October 31,” said Lynch.