Company To Get $1.3 Million For School Safety Tool

By News Service of Florida

The Florida Department of Education will pay nearly $1.3 million to a company that will revise a tool used by all public schools to identify threats and vulnerabilities on campuses. 

State officials plan to pay the Virginia-based Haystax Technology to revise the Florida Safe Schools Assessment Tool, which will “incorporate recommendations that were legislatively mandated.”

Those recommendations were passed by lawmakers shortly after the mass shooting in February 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 students and faculty members and injured 17 others.

The tool was created by the Legislature in 2013. After the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting, lawmakers required all school districts to complete school security risk assessments for the tool for all public schools, including charter schools.

Those assessments were required to include information like a school’s physical security measures, school security and operational practices, as well as crisis preparedness plans.

According to a notice posted last week by the state agency, there was not a competitive bidding process for Haystax Technology to get the nearly $1.3 million contract.

The agency said it picked to the company to revise the tool because the company had already gone through a competitive vetting process and was picked to “develop and construct” the tool. The pot of money will also go toward maintaining the tool for the next three years.