Advocates See Tech Playing Larger Role in Safeguarding Schools

AdvocatesSeeThe convergence of technology and physical security systems — and E-rate funds — is giving schools new ways to improve the safety systems used to protect students and teachers on school properties.

The evolving approach comes at a time when school administrators across the nation are fighting an uphill battle to fund basic improvements in their facilities. According to the National Center for Education Statistics Survey of School Districts, out of the approximate 100,000 K-12 public schools in the United States, the average age of the main instructional building is 44 years and 53% need to spend money on repairs. The American Society of Civil Engineers recently gave the U.S. public school system a D+ on its 2017 Infrastructure Report Card.

At the same time, school districts face a growing responsibility to guard against acts of violence and terrorism that have put schools into the national spotlight.

The challenges have brought together a variety of special interest groups, along with schools and security companies, to look for ways to help schools improve the physical security of their facilities.

Guy Grace, director of public safety for a Colorado school district and PASS K-12 steering committee member, has found ways to use networking gear that can also support physical security systems, and tap the E-rate program to help fund the equipment. Learn more here.