A bill that would authorize the Office of Safe Schools to award targeted grants to address school violence and enhance school safety unanimously passed the Senate today, state Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon/Monroe) announced.

"School safety is not a partisan issue, and today's unanimous passage of this important safe schools grant legislation reflects that," Yudichak said. "As a parent to young children, every instance of school violence – which is happening far too regularly – is heartbreaking; and it is my hope that these grants will allow our Pennsylvania schools to fund initiatives that keep violence out of our schools and keep our children safe."

Yudichak, a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 10, said that the grants would be available to fund programs that address school violence and comprehensive district-wide school safety by either establishing or enhancing school security, or updating emergency preparedness plans.

Yudichak also applauded the work of Luzerne County Intermediate Unit 18 and the Luzerne County Safe Schools Committee for their work to educate and prepare local school districts on school safety and emergency preparedness. Joseph DeLucca, the Director of Federal, State and Nonpublic Programs for the Luzerne County Intermediate Unit 18, recently testified before a joint Senate hearing about the importance of safe school initiatives.

The governor's 2013-14 budget proposal recommended level funding of $2.02 million for the Safe Schools Initiative. The bill will now move to the House for consideration.