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Sen. Jacobs secures funding for SRO, STEAM lab

Officials with bullet aid check

ABOVE: Rick Davis (City of Tonawanda mayor), Pauline Kuun (president, Tonawanda Education Association), Danielle Opalinski (vice president, Board of Education), Sen. Chris Jacobs, Officer Jason Balling (school resource officer), Chief William Strassburg (Tonawanda Police) and Dr. Timothy Oldenburg (superintendent of schools).


TONAWANDA (June 1, 2018) – New York State Sen. Chris Jacobs announced that he has secured an allocation of $50,000 in state funds to support two Tonawanda City School District initiatives.

The district’s science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) program, better known as STEMrichment, will receive $30,000 of the allocation to support upgrades and improvements to the middle school STEAM lab. The remaining $20,000 will support the continued presence of a School Resource Officer (SRO) that supports all buildings within the district.

“I recognize the importance of school districts having the functional space and tools to better educate students in STEAM courses,” Jacobs said. “I also recognize that our primary obligation to our students is to ensure their safety and the security of their learning environment. This funding will enable the district to accomplish both objectives.”

The current STEAM classroom is in need of repairs and updating in order to meet curriculum standards and goals for next academic year. A majority of the capital costs will be borne by the district, while the state funding will enable the purchase of new furniture, equipment and fixtures.

"We are thrilled to receive this recognition and aid from Sen. Jacobs, and we are proud to continue to grow our STEAM initiative for our students in the City of Tonawanda. Additionally, we value our partnership and joint efforts with the City of Tonawanda Police Department to further our School Resource Officer program,” City of Tonawanda School Superintendent Dr. Timothy Oldenburg said. “Sen. Jacobs has been a strong advocate for public education for many years. This announcement and allocation of aid is another example of his commitment to public education and his constituents."

The school district has a shared services agreement with the City of Tonawanda Police Department for an on-duty police officer to serve as its School Resource Officer. A valuable addition to the school system, the resource officer helps to empower students and work with them to solve problems before becoming a potential crisis. The officer also works with the elementary school when needed and provides the DARE education curriculum.

"This grant allows the City of Tonawanda Police Department and City of Tonawanda School District to continue the partnership that was formed in 2013,” said Police Chief William Strassburg. “In these trying times, the safety of our children continues to be a top priority. This grant will greatly assist that effort."