2023 News

Fund Established to Help Schools Improve Security Systems

Fund Established to Help Schools Improve Security Systems

Last summer, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced a $100 million program to fund school safety initiatives for Iowa’s 327 public school districts and 183 nonpublic and independent schools. The initial funding is made through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act and Emergency and Secondary Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds.

Most of the investment in Iowa schools—a total of $75 million—establishes a School Safety Improvement Fund that is focused on target hardening and security improvements. Schools must complete an application process to be considered for a grant (see FAQ linked below).

A long-time leader in the provision of comprehensive security solutions for schools, Baker Group says the grant program offers valuable assistance to schools.

“We want to be sure every school in the state has an opportunity to create a safer more secure environment for students, teachers and the community,” says Jon Jackson, Baker Group Vice President of Technology.

Baker Group holds a master agreement with the State of Iowa, making it easier and more efficient for educational institutions to work with the company.

“One of the things that separates us in this industry is our master agreement,” Jackson says. “The state has done competitive vetting, so school districts don’t have to. This is a major efficiency that means schools and school districts can use us for projects without having to put them out for bid. This helps us get projects started and finished in a much timelier manner.”

Among the most installed technologies at schools are access control systems, video surveillance and mass notification systems. Grant funds are eligible to be used for all these tools, along with emerging technologies in the educational environment including facial recognition and biometric systems that can read a fingerprint, palm print, or even perform a retinal scan.

“We want to make these upgrades as easy as possible for our schools to make,” Jackson says. “Our master agreement with the state allows schools to purchase directly from Baker Group and guarantees the price on quality products and installation. Security has to be a priority for schools in our state and we are ready to deploy solutions to meet their unique needs.”

Notable deadlines for the grants include:

  • September 1, 2024: Notice of Interest Submission Due Date
  • October 1, 2024: School Safety Capital Improvement Grants Application Due Date
  • December 31, 2024: End of School Safety Grant Period of Performance

For more information on how Baker Group can assist with grant writing or facilitating a school safety update, contact Jon Jackson (jacksonj@TheBakerGroup.com). To learn more about our comprehensive services, visit this link: Baker Group Security Solutions

To learn more about the State program, funding guidelines and submission requirements, visit this link: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

About Baker Group

Baker Group is a commercial and industrial specialty contractor based in Ankeny, Iowa. With more than 1,100 employees, Baker Group is the Midwest’s premier full-service specialty contractor providing mechanical, industrial, sheet metal, electrical, building automation, process automation, security systems, fire alarm systems, parking/revenue controls and 24/7/365 service. For more information, call 855.262.4000 or visit www.thebakergroup.com.


Best of Des Moines 2023

Best of Business Record Award

Baker Group was recognized by readers of the Des Moines Business Record for best Mechanical Contractor, Electrical Contractor, Security Company and Best Company to Work For in 2023.

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Best of Business Record Award

For a seventh consecutive year, Baker Group was recognized by the Des Moines Register as one of the Top Workplaces in the state.