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Federal spending bill includes money for school safety

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Schools around central and northern New York will soon be able to apply for federal funds to cover school safety and mental health training expenses - part of the recently passed $1.3 trillion spending plan passed by Congress.

Rep. John Kakto (R-Camillus) says grants are available on a number of fronts - to help schools to hire school resource officers, provide mental health counseling and pay for bullying and harassment prevent programs.

"There’s multiple pots of money out there," Katko said. "There’s a lot of different ways they can go. Once they figure out what they can apply for, they work with our office who help support he grant applications and hopefully they get them approved.”

West Genesee School Superintendent Chris Brown says this will bring means funding for mental health, or anti-bullying programs.

“This is going to allow us to contract with outside agencies," Brown said. "In the Syracuse area, you’ve got Syracuse Behavioral Health, Liberty Resources, and Catholic Charities and the like who do great work. But sometimes you can’t get to them is because they're short staffed. What this money will do is probably shore up their personnel for us to use, and maybe get satellite offices from these organizations right in our buildings."

In all, Katko says an extra $2.3 billion is available for school safety and mental health training.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.