RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Two hundred schools throughout North Carolina are improving safety measures within their buildings thanks to millions of dollars in grant money from the Center for Safer Schools. Some school advocates CBS 17 heard from say it couldn’t come at a better time.

“Unfortunately now with the rise in things like school shootings, there’s been more focus on those kinds of intrusions,” Keith Poston with the WakeEd Partnership said.

The funding was granted by the center at the end of 2022, but we’re now learning what the money will be directly used for.

Wake County was awarded around $659,000. All of that money is being used to implement a visitor management system at all 198 schools in the district. That system will check visitors at any school against known-sexual offender databases.

In Sampson County, $827,000 will be used in three ways. About $30,000 is being used for additional and improved security cameras, $225,000 will be used for updating school intercom and paging systems, and $572,000 will fund seven more school resource officers.

It’s a lot of money headed to schools, but Poston says this money also highlights a lack of funding from the General Assembly.

“Funding is a problem, and it continues to be in North Carolina, now with teacher pay, it’s lagging at the bottom of the country again,” he said.

He says with limited funding, schools are forced to choose the most affordable way to keep students and staff safe.

“As good as this money is going to do, they’re going then to make choices about what they can use it for, some they can’t use it for something else, you can’t apply for everything you need,” Poston said.

Advocates say the best funding would be sustainable, long-term funding written into legislature by the General Assembly.