Safe Schools by Design Act Signed into Law

On October 18, 2023, Governor Kathy Hochul signed the Safe Schools by Design Act (A.286-A Paulin/S.2629-A May) into law, capping off a multi-year effort to elevate the importance of design in making our schools safe, secure, and welcoming learning environments.

AIANYS drafted the legislation as a means to reinforce the efforts and success achieved by the AIA at the federal level through the Bi-Partisan Safer Communities Act of 2022, and the creation of a repository of safe school resources. Under the Safe Schools by Design Act, school districts will be encouraged to consider the incorporation of design strategies and best practices when formulating a new five-year capital plan. School districts will be aided through the distribution of safe school design guidelines released by the State Education Department (SED).

In addition, the new law expands the School Violence Prevention grant to include funding for programs that facilitate and promote community involvement in school facility planning, such as the community-focused process used in the design of the new Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct.

The governor’s press release may be viewed here.