U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced $71.6 million in new funding to enhance safety in schools and improve student access to mental health resources. The U.S. Department of Education made the awards under four grant programs, which support recommendations identified in the final report issued by the Federal Commission on School Safety.
"Our nation's schools must be safe places to learn, where students feel connected and supported," said Secretary DeVos. "These grants allow local leaders to tailor their approach to school safety and mental health in ways that meet their students' individual needs and their particular school's unique challenges."
The four grant programs are:
The Trauma Recovery Demonstration Grant Program provides more than $6.7 million to five states -- Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana and Nevada -- to fund model programs enabling students from low-income families who have experienced trauma that negatively affects their educational experience to access trauma-specific mental health services from their choice of provider in order to best meet their needs.
The Mental Health Demonstration Grant Program provides $11 million to 27 state education agencies and school districts to support innovative partnerships to train and deploy school-based mental health service providers in schools. The purpose is to expand the pipeline of high-quality, trained professionals to address shortages of mental health services in high-need schools and to provide supports that encompass social and emotional learning, mental wellness, resilience and positive connections between students and adults.
Project Prevent provides more than $11.3 million to 15 school districts to increase their capacity to assist schools in communities with pervasive violence. These grants will enable schools to identify, assess and serve students exposed to pervasive violence, provide mental health services for related trauma or anxiety, support conflict resolution programs, and implement other school-based violence prevention strategies in order to break the cycle of violence in these communities.
The School Climate Transformation Grant Program provides $42.4 million to 69 school districts to help develop, enhance, or expand systems of support for, and technical assistance to, schools implementing a multi-tiered system of support for improving school climate. The program focuses on supporting communities that may uniquely benefit from implementing a multi-tiered system of support, including districts serving rural areas and/or members of a federally recognized Tribe and districts located in a Qualified Opportunity Zone.