School Funding Provided by School Safety Partners

School Safety Partners
School Safety Partners will provide 10-25% matching grants and financial consulting through its new national School Safety Fund. DENVER, November 19, 2009 -- School Safety Partners will provide 10-25% matching grants and financial consulting through its new School Safety Fund to support schools nationwide applying for Federal funding to make their schools safer. Funds can be applied to improve all aspects of school safety, including prevention-mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

"All kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn." President Obama, September 8, 2009

The Denver-based volunteer group is joined by McLiney And Company, investment bankers specializing in school funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), and the nation's leading tax-credit bond firm. John Simmons, chairman of School Safety Partners, reached an agreement with McLiney And Company last week after reviewing the firm's standing with the Colorado Department of Education, and finalizing a strategy to leverage the firm's experience in securing Federal funding for schools around the country. Founded in 1966, McLiney And Company has handled thousands of municipal bond issues and has completed over 350 tax credit bonds, many of them for schools. "School safety should be a top priority for ARRA dollars," said Joseph McLiney, the firm's president. "Safer schools mean higher value learning and higher value communities," he added. The School Safety Fund was established to combine the financial expertise of McLiney with the multi-sector resources of School Safety Partners. These resources started coming together as part of a legislative process. Simmons was invited by Colorado State Senator Tom Wiens to help


draft Senate Bill 08-181, which established community partnering as a driving force behind a new "School Response Framework." The bill was introduced by Wiens, co-sponsored by 55 other lawmakers, and signed into law in May, 2008. Schools are now required to team up with community responders and other partners for joint school safety planning, training, drills, exercises, and evaluations. The research produced by Wiens' office on how to fund these activities has become the cornerstone of the School Safety Fund. McLiney points to several new opportunities created under the Obama administration that should not be ignored by school districts. These include dramatically expanded programs for Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZABs), Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCBs), and Build America Bonds. According to McLiney, these programs are well-funded, "but the dollars could disappear if the states don't use their yearly allocation." The School Safety Fund provides matching grants to help schools meet Federal funding requirements and guidelines. For example, a consortium headed by School Safety Partners can provide schools the 10% matching funds needed to apply for QZABs. The matching funds would cover school safety curriculum development and training, full-scale exercises, and other safety consulting and technology. In addition, the School Safety Fund provides guidance in applying for grants from the U.S. Department of Education, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, as well as many lesser-known sources of funding for school safety. For instance, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a community assistance program which may be used to help rural schools improve coordination among local agencies when responding to school incidents. "We look forward to applying all of our know-how through the School Safety Fund," said McLiney. The firm was invited to participate in USDA's municipal lending task force, which had a positive impact on municipal borrowers in all 50 states. McLiney And Company is currently an advisor to the Federal Government on lending practices and policies affecting rural municipalities. Application guidelines for the School Safety Fund will be released December 1, 2009. District-level inquiries before December 1 may be directed to either John Simmons at 303-548-3816 or Joseph McLiney at 816-786-5639.


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