115C-105.60. School resource officer grants.

(a) Definition. - For purposes of this section, the term "qualifying public school unit" refers to a local school administrative unit, regional school, innovative school, laboratory school, or charter school.

(b) Program; Purpose. - The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall establish the School Resource Officer Grants Program (Program). To the extent funds are made available for the Program, its purpose shall be to improve safety in qualifying public school units by providing grants for school resource officers.

(c) Grant Applications. - A qualifying public school unit may submit an application to the Superintendent of Public Instruction for one or more grants pursuant to this section. The application shall include an assessment, to be performed in conjunction with a local law enforcement agency, of the need for improving school safety within the qualifying public school unit that would receive the funding. The application shall identify current and ongoing needs and estimated costs associated with those needs.

(d) Criteria and Guidelines. - By November 1, 2019, and August 1 of each year thereafter in which funds are made available for the Program, the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall develop criteria and guidelines for the administration and use of the grants pursuant to this section, including any documentation required to be submitted by applicants. In assessing grant applications, the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall consider at least all of the following factors:

(1) The level of resources available to the qualifying public school unit that would receive the funding.

(2) Whether the qualifying public school unit has received other grants for school safety.

(3) The overall impact on student safety in the qualifying public school unit if the identified needs are funded.

(e) Award of Funds. - From funds made available for grants for school resource officers, the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall award grants to qualifying public school units for school resource officers in elementary and middle schools, as follows:

(1) Grants shall be matched on the basis of two dollars ($2.00) in State funds for every one dollar ($1.00) in non-State funds.

(2) Qualifying public school units may use these funds to employ school resource officers in elementary and middle schools, to train them, or both.

(3) Training shall be provided, in partnership with the qualifying public school unit, by a community college, a local law enforcement agency, or the North Carolina Justice Academy. Any training shall include instruction on research into the social and cognitive development of elementary school and middle school children.

(f) Supplement Not Supplant. - Grants provided to qualifying public school units pursuant to the Program shall be used to supplement and not to supplant State or non-State funds already provided for these services.

(g) Report. - No later than April 1, 2020, and each year thereafter in which funds are made available for the Program, the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall report on the Program to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee, the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services, the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Justice and Public Safety, the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations, and the Fiscal Research Division. The report shall include the identity of each entity that received a grant through the Program, the amount of funding provided to each entity that received a grant, the use of funds by each entity that received a grant, and recommendations for the implementation of additional effective school safety measures. (2019-222, s. 3.1(a).)