2019 Tennessee Code
Title 49 - Education
Chapter 6 - Elementary and Secondary Education
Part 43 - Reporting Student Offenses
§ 49-6-4302. Tennessee school safety center.
(a) The department of education shall establish a Tennessee school safety center to develop and evaluate training materials and guidelines on school safety issues, including behavior, discipline and violence prevention.
(b) The Tennessee school safety center is responsible for the collection and analysis of data related to school safety, including alleged violent or assaultive acts against school employees and students. The center shall make periodic reports to the education committee of the senate and the education committee of the house of representatives on the status of school safety efforts.
(1) The Tennessee school safety center, within the limit of appropriations for the center, shall establish school safety grants to assist LEAs in funding programs that address school safety, including, but not limited to, innovative violence prevention programs, conflict resolution, disruptive or assaultive behavior management, improved school security, school resource officers, school safety officers, peer mediation, and training for employees on the identification of possible perpetrators of school-related violence.
(2) The Tennessee school safety center shall develop a school safety grant application that requires LEAs to describe, at a minimum, how grant funds:
(A) Will be used to improve and support school safety;
(B) Align with the needs identified in a school security assessment conducted pursuant to subsection (f); and
(C) Will be used to support LEA-authorized charter schools, if applicable.
(3) In order to be eligible to receive grant funds, the LEA must be in compliance with all state laws, rules, and regulations regarding school safety.
(4) The Tennessee school safety center shall review the school safety grant application in collaboration with the state-level school safety team established under § 49-6-802.
(d) The grants provided for in subdivision (c)(1) must be distributed according to the following funding model:
(1) Funding is available to each LEA in the same percentage that the LEA's share of basic education program (BEP) funding bears to statewide BEP funding;
(2) Funding is subject to a twenty-five percent (25%) match by the LEA, adjusted for the LEA's fiscal capacity under the BEP formula. The match requirement may be satisfied by local or contributed funds or by personnel or other in-kind expenses assumed by the LEA. An LEA may use funds derived from local taxes levied for school operation and maintenance purposes, as described in § 49-3-315, to satisfy the match requirement. This subdivision (d)(2) does not require apportionment of funds under § 49-3-315 for any school safety measure identified in the LEA's school safety grant application and for which the LEA uses school funds to provide the required match; and
(3) Any funds appropriated for this program in any fiscal year that are not expended must be carried forward for program purposes in future fiscal years. Any allocation for an LEA that is not applied for, or that is not successfully applied for in any fiscal year, shall not be carried forward for the benefit of that LEA in subsequent fiscal years, but must instead be carried forward for future expenditures under this program in future fiscal years.
(e) The Tennessee school safety center shall reserve moneys to fund school safety grants for LEAs with schools that did not have a full-time school resource officer during the 2018-2019 school year and that submit a school safety grant application describing the LEA's intent to utilize the grant for school resource officers, and to that end, the center shall prioritize school safety grants based on such applications. Any reserve funding awarded pursuant to this subsection (e) is subject to a twenty-five percent (25%) match by the LEA, adjusted for the LEA's fiscal capacity under the BEP formula, and must be available for school safety grants awarded for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 fiscal years. Any reserve funds that are not awarded pursuant to this subsection (e) must be reallocated in accordance with subsection (d).
(f) The department of safety and homeland security, in collaboration with the department of education, shall develop a school security assessment for use in Tennessee public schools. The departments shall provide training to local law enforcement agencies and school administrators on the use of the school security assessment to identify school security vulnerabilities. The department of safety and homeland security is authorized to conduct periodic audits of Tennessee public schools as necessary to verify the effective implementation and use of such assessments to enhance school security.
(g) Information regarding the use and effectiveness of grants awarded under this section must be included in the Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) Act report required under § 49-6-810.
(h) LEAs are authorized to act in partnership with local law enforcement agencies for the purpose of hiring school resource officers under the state grant program set forth in § 38-8-115.