INDIANAPOLIS– A historic $29.8 million will go towards school safety grants across Indiana this school year.

It’s through a grant program made possible through the Indiana Department of Homeland Security— a program that, with this latest round of funding, will have brought in $162 million for Indiana schools since 2013 when it was launched.

”Expectations are higher to secure buildings now more than ever,” Dan Jack, the HR director of Greenfield-Central Community Schools, said.

Jack said the grant allows Greenfield-Central to pay its ten school resource officers.

”That allows us to have other monies to use for other security measures like locking doors, secure entrances, cameras,” Jack said.

The superintendent of MSD Wayne Township said the grant has allowed the district to bring on even more SROs.

”Without this grant, we would have to take dollars out of the education or operations fund,” Dr. Jeff Butts said. ”Having those additional school resource officers is the thing that we have determined to be the best utilization of these grant dollars.”

The IDHS announced Tuesday that the majority of grant funding will go towards SRO salaries but that schools were also given the opportunity to request funding for capital projects, training items and equipment.

”With the new items that we made eligible, it expanded what the schools could ask for, so we actually got about 40 new schools to apply this year because of this process,” Rusty Goodpaster, the director of the IDHS Secured School Safety Board, said.

According to the IDHS, 474 schools applied for funding this year. All 474 will either be fully or partially funded.