Schools across New York can tap into a $2 billion bond that was approved by voters in 2014. The Smart Schools Bond Act allows districts to improve technology and install high-tech security features in school buildings, including, video surveillance, and emergency notification systems.
The Lockport School district was one of the first in the state to have its security plan approved and paid for under the bond act.
However there are many school districts waiting and Depew Schools Superintendent Jeffrey R. Rabey, Ph.D. says they've been waiting 18-months after applying for $188,000 to do security upgrades.
"18-months ago we submitted our request and we're still waiting for approval. It's disappointing, it's frustrating, especially considering everything that's going on right now in the United States with schools and wanting to provide the highest level of security that we can," said Rabey. "We had no idea it was going to take this long for the money to be dispersed."
Cleveland Hill wants to install more secure entrances and cameras. Clarence has already made security upgrades, but would like to do more. They have a 35-member task force looking at a variety of things from bulletproof storm shelters, shot spotters and blue alarms to notify officials if there's an active shooter on school grounds.
Some schools can't wait any longer and are budgeting money for security upgrades and will seek reimbursement.