More than 40 Virginia schools will have school resource officers next school year, thanks to new state grants announced Monday.

The schools, which are currently not staffed by any law enforcement officers, are amping up their security in response to the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.

The increase of school resource officers was recommended by a task force on school and campus safety issues that Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) convened after the December school shooting. A portion of their salaries and benefits will be paid for by a $1.3 million appropriation approved by the General Assembly.

“Creating a safe learning environment is paramount to insuring a high quality education,” McDonnell said in a statement. “This is a vital part of our efforts to do everything we can to assure safe and secure schools for every Virginia student.”

The list of 42 schools includes elementary, middle and high schools in 24 school districts around the state, including a middle school in Stafford County.