(Committee repealed 2017; responsibilities for program transferred)
The School Safety Program and the School Safety Program Oversight Committee was statutorily established in 1997. Authority for the Program is found at A.R.S. §§15-154 and 15-155. In 2017, the Oversight Committee was allowed to sunset and its responsibilities were transferred to the State Board of Education and to the Arizona Department of Education.
The School Safety Program provides resources to place trained school resource officers or juvenile probation officers at public or charter schools and to fund a law-related education program. A public or charter school may apply to participate by submitting a proposal describing the needs of the school and outlining plans to implement school safety prevention strategies. The program is funded by the state General Fund and Proposition 301 monies, awarded through a competitive grant basis for a three-year cycle. Grant funds are generally used to pay salaries and benefits for participating law enforcement officers.
Until April 2017, the School Safety Program Oversight Committee (Committee) reviewed applications for grants and selected school sites that were eligible to receive funding, based on school safety needs. The State Board of Education administered the program in conjunction with the courts, law enforcement agencies and law-related education providers. The Arizona Department of Education distributed monies to those schools that were in compliance with program requirements and had been approved by the Committee. The Committee consisted of ten appointed members, four of whom were legislative members who served in a non-voting, advisory capacity.
Effective April 17, 2017, the Arizona Department of Education (Department) assumed responsibility for administering the school safety program. Schools who wish to participate are required to submit proposals to the Department. The State Board of Education is responsible for reviewing and approving contracts. The Department will distribute monies to the schools that are in compliance with program requirements and whose plans have been approved by the State Board of Education. The measure repealed the Committee. See Laws 2017, Chapter 158.
The Joint Legislative Committee on School Safety, created in 1994, was repealed and replaced by the School Safety Oversight Committee in 1997. See Laws 1994, Chapter 201, Section 23.
Laws 1997, Chapter 220 established the Committee in statute, charged with the responsibility to review applications for funding submitted by schools and to select sites based on school safety needs. The measure included a purpose statement at Section 104 that read: “The purpose of the school safety program oversight committee is to provide a proactive approach to prevent juvenile referrals to the court system of this state and to prevent detention in the state department of juvenile corrections, county jails and the state department of corrections.” The State Board of Education administered the program and the Department, at the direction of the State Board of Education, distributed monies to participating schools. The Department was also responsible for working with agencies and the courts to coordinate the assignment of peace officers and juvenile probation officers to participating schools. The measure appropriated $1,000,000 from the state General Fund to the Department for FY 1997-98 to implement the safe schools program.
Laws 2008, Chapter 127 allowed a school district to apply to participate in the program for up to three fiscal years, rather than requiring an application for each year.
Laws 2014, Chapter 214 allowed charter schools to apply for and receive school safety program funding.
On November 14, 2016, the Senate Education and the House of Representatives Education Committee of Reference (COR) conducted a sunset review of the School Safety Program Oversight Committee. The COR recommended the Committee be permitted to sunset effective July 1, 2017 and that legislation be enacted to transfer the review and approval of school safety grants to the State Board of Education.
Laws 2017, Chapter 158 repealed the Committee and transferred its responsibilities to the State Board of Education and the Arizona Department of Education. The School Safety Program was retained and statutory provisions were modified to reflect changes in administration.
- Arizona Revised Statutes §§15-154 and 15-155
- Session Laws
- Laws 1994, Chapter 201
- Laws 1997, Chapter 220
- Laws 2008, Chapter 127
- Laws 2014, Chapter 214
- Laws 2017, Chapter 158
Senate Education and House of Representatives Education Committee of Reference Minutes, November 14, 2016, page 4. https://www.azleg.gov/iminute/senate/52leg/2r/111416Senateedandhouseedcor.pdf
Related Collections at Arizona State Archives
Record Group 005 – Department of Education, 1883-2016