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school safetyU.S. Department of Education Invests More Than $70 Million to “Keep Students Safe”

To help keep students safe and improve their learning environments, the U.S. Department of Education awarded more than $70 million to 130 grantees in 38 states. The Department made the awards under four new grant programs that were among the common-sense proposals included in President Obama and Vice President Biden’s Now Is The Time,” a comprehensive plan to make our schools safer, reduce gun violence by keeping guns out of dangerous hands, and increase mental-health services. The new competitive grant programs are:

  • School Climate Transformation grants to school districts—$35,818,097
  • School Climate Transformation grants to states—$7,339,654
  • Project Prevent grants to school districts—$14,167,876
  • School Emergency Management grants to states—$13,082,991

“If we can’t help protect kids and staff, and make them feel safe at school, then everything else that we do is secondary,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “If kids don’t feel safe, they can’t learn. It’s that simple. Through these grants of more than $70 million, we are continuing our commitment to ensure that kids have access to the best learning experience possible.”

The President’s Plan to Reduce Gun Violence

On January 15, 2013, Vice President Biden delivered his policy proposals to President Obama. On January 16, 2013, the President put forward a specific plan to protect our children and communities by reducing gun violence. The plan combines executive actions and calls for legislative action that would help keep guns out of the wrong hands, ban assault and high-capacity magazines, make our schools safer, and increase access to mental health services.

The School Climate Transformation Grants to school districts provide more than $35.8 million to 71 school districts in 23 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The funds will be used to develop, enhance, or expand systems of support for implementing evidence-based, multi-tiered behavioral frameworks for improving behavioral outcomes and learning conditions for students. The goals of the program are to connect children, youths, and families to appropriate services and supports; improve conditions for learning and behavioral outcomes for school-aged youths; and increase awareness of and the ability to respond to mental-health issues among school-aged youths.

school to prisonSchool districts also will use funds to implement models for reform and evidence-based practices that address the School-to-Prison Pipeline—the unfortunate and often unintentional policies and practices that push our nation’s schoolchildren, especially those who are most at-risk, out of classrooms and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems.

The grants provide funding for up to five years, for a total of nearly $180 million. Many of the school districts receiving this funding also will coordinate their efforts with support from “Now is the Time” programs administered by other agencies. One hundred school districts received the Department of Health and Human Services’ Project Aware grants, including 29 of the Department of Education grantees. In addition, five grantees will receive assistance through the Department of Justice’s School Justice Collaboration Program.

The School Climate Transformation Grant to states provide more than $7.3 million to 12 states to develop, enhance, or expand statewide systems of support for, and technical assistance to, school districts and schools implementing an evidence-based, multi-tiered behavioral framework for improving behavioral outcomes and learning conditions for all students.  The grants provide funding for up to five years, for a total of more than $36 million. Twenty states received funding through the Department of Health and Human Services’ Project AWARE grants, including nine Department of Education grantees.

Now is the time

President Obama listens to Secretary Duncan during a meeting to discuss efforts to address gun violence in schools, Dec. 17, 2012.

The Project Prevent Grant provide funding to school districts to expand their capacity to more effectively assist schools in communities with pervasive violence to better meet the needs of students directly or indirectly exposed to violence. The more than $14.1 million in awards to 22 school districts in 14 states will be used for school-based counseling services, or referrals to community-based counseling services for assistance in coping with trauma or anxiety; school-based social and emotional supports for students to help address the effects of violence; and conflict resolution and other school-based strategies to prevent future violence.

Funds also will be used to create a safer and improved school environment, which may include “activities” such as; incidence of harassment, bullying, violence, gang involvement active shooter drills,” bomb threats, Psychological First Aid (PFA),” and substance abuse.

my-brothers-keeperThese grant programs also address a critical goal of President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, which is to ensure that schools can provide the social, emotional, and behavioral supports for all youth—including boys and young men of color—that will enable all students to graduate from high school ready for college and careers.

REMSThe Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) grants provide more than $13 million to 25 states to expand their capacity to assist school districts in developing and implementing high-quality School Emergency Operations Plan (EOPs). Those states that currently have limited internal capacity will first expand that capacity and then provide training and technical assistance to school districts. States that provided evidence of current internal capacity (i.e., that currently have EOP subject matter experts on staff and comprehensive, up-to-date state EOP resources) will immediately provide or expand training and technical assistance to school districts. These one-time grants provide funding for 18 months.

Below are the grantees for each new program:

2014 School Climate Transformation Grants—School District Grantees

City Applicant Name Year-One Funding
Ashville St. Clair County Schools $199,934
San Carlos San Carlos Unified School District $559,512
Marana Marana Unified School District $749,943
Pasadena Pasadena Unified School District $445,135
Santa Rosa Santa Rosa City Schools $713,933
Oakland Oakland Unified School District $322,526
Pico Rivera El Rancho Unified School District $360,888
Eureka Eureka City Schools $715,041
Lakeport Lake County Office of Education $372,923
Salinas Monterey County Office of Education $621,561
Hemet Hemet Unified School District $340,918
Ukiah Mendocino County Office of Education $324,941
Lindsay Lindsay Unified School District $750,000
Pleasanton Pleasanton Unified School District $475,976
Cerritos ABC Unified School District $362,862
Oakland Leadership Public Schools $276,856
Arleta YPI Charter Schools, aka Bert Corona Charter School $750,000
Visalia Tulare County Office of Education $740,691
Washington Eagle Academy Public Charter School $321,675
Fort Lauderdale The School Board of Broward County, Florida $750,000
Jacksonville Duval County Public Schools $749,235
Fernandina Beach Nassau District School Board $671,227
Tampa Hillsborough County Public Schools $750,000
Bartow School Board of Polk County, Florida $750,000
Ft. Dodge Ft. Dodge Community School District $316,591
 Des Moines Des Moines Independent Community School District $499,808
Alton Alton Community Unit School District #11 $255,170
Zion Zion Elementary School District 6 $214,973
Sandoval Sandoval Community Unit School District 501 $320,965
Corbin Corbin Board of Education $200,000
Louisville Jefferson County Board of Education $749,903
Murray West Kentucky Educational Cooperative $749,698
Inez Martin County Board of Education $310,782
Shreveport Caddo Parish School Board $604,087
Harvey Jefferson Parish Public School System $742,406
New Orleans Orleans Parish School Board $525,000
Newton Newton Public Schools $364,358
Reading Town of Reading $252,329
Wilbraham Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District $334,863
Pigeon Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker Schools $361,303
Detroit School District of the City of Detroit $705,797
Muskegon Muskegon Area Intermediate School District $442,125
Concord Cabarrus County Schools $749,895
Lincoln Lincoln Public Schools $260,117
Papillion Papillion-La Vista School District $325,411
Fremont Fremont Public Schools $750,000
Laconia Laconia School District $200,211
Auburn Auburn Enlarged City School District $229,397
Buffalo Board of Education, Buffalo NY $694,033
Lyons Lyons Central School District $723,102
Cheektowaga Cleveland Hill Union Free School District $222,037
Middle Island Longwood Central School District $319,966
Cheektowaga Cheektowaga Central School District $138,576
Hominy Osage County Interlocal Cooperative $648,302
Philadelphia Philadelphia School District $608,269
Lancaster Lancaster School District $635,659
Chesnee Spartanburg  County School District  Two $328,267
San Antonio South San Antonio Independent School District $727,566
San Antonio Southside Independent School District $729,391
Pasadena Pasadena Independent School District $667,108
San Antonio Northside Independent School District $193,299
Karnes City Karnes City Independent School District $602,128
San Antonio San Antonio Independent School District $533,581
Salt Lake City Granite School District $747,539
Tooele Tooele County School District $475,525
St. Thomas Virgin Islands Department of Education $745,384
Vancouver Vancouver School District #37 $323,010
Berlin Berlin Area School District $231,489
Appleton Appleton Area School District $660,354
Wausau Wausau School District $747,030

2014 School Climate Transformation Grants—State Grantees

Connecticut State Department of Education $578,499
Delaware Department of Education $458,660
Florida Department of Education $641,017
Hawaii Department of Education $608,901
Iowa Department of Education $688,566
Michigan Department of Education $640,788
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education $680,508
Montana Office of Public Instruction $750,000
Nevada Department of Education $748,340
Ohio Department of Education $260,427
Virginia Department of Education $705,427
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction $578,521

2014 Project Prevent Grantees

Tucson The Pima Prevention Partnership dba Pima Partnership School $291,036
Oakland Oakland Unified School District $596,249
Pico Rivera El Rancho Unified School District $832,601
San Francisco San Francisco Unified School District $570,888
Stockton Stockton Unified School District $980,121
San Bernardino San Bernardino City Unified School District $426,788
New London New London Public Schools $613,131
Sarasota School Board of Sarasota County $270,489
Tampa Hillsborough County Public Schools $750,000
Miami The School Board of Miami-Dade $642,266
Indianapolis Metropolitan School District of Pike Township $998,573
Hazard Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative $495,176
Lansing Lansing School District $763,072
St. Paul Independent School District #625 $395,591
Reno Washoe County School District $973,491
Chester Archway Charter School of Chester, Inc. $552,160
South Carolina
Lancaster Lancaster County School District $493,518
Ashland City Cheatham County School District $1,000,000
Memphis Shelby County Board of Education $856,363
Nashville Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools $492,631
Spokane Northeast Washington Educational Service District 101 $714,146
Milwaukee Milwaukee Public Schools $459,586

2014 Grants to States for School Emergency Management

Alabama State Department of Education $400,269
Alaska Department of Education & Early Development $249,050
Arizona Department of Education $577,154
Colorado Department of Education $413,411
Connecticut State Department of Education $291,483
Illinois State Board of Education $1,098,250
Iowa Department of Education $257,314
Kentucky Department of Education $333,020
Louisiana Department of Education $392,400
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education $506,079
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education $500,485
Montana Office of Public Instruction $250,000
Nevada Department of Education $250,000
New Hampshire Department of Education $250,000
New Jersey Department of Education $732,350
New Mexico Public Education Department $249,997
North Dakota Department of Public Instruction $250,000
Ohio Department of Education $962,025
Pennsylvania Department of Education $986,908
South Carolina Department of Education $364,955
Tennessee Department of Education $532,643
Texas Education Agency $1,954,749
Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction $557,940
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction $472,509
Wyoming Department of Education $250,000