Federal School Safety Grants Aim to Support Local Approaches

The deadline is looming for three U.S. Department of Education grant competitions (FY 2019) that support "locally-tailored" approaches to school safety. All three programs are funded through the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The "Project Prevent" program is intended to help districts and schools build their abilities "to identify, assess and serve students exposed to pervasive violence." Funds from the $10 million competition are expected to be used for providing mental health services for trauma or anxiety, support conflict resolution programs or implement other school-based violence prevention strategies. The deadline to apply for one of these grants is July 15, 2019.

The $40 million "School Climate Transformation" competition is intended to provide funding for development, enhancement or expansion of school programs that are focused on improving learning conditions and promoting positive school culture for all students. The deadline to apply is July 22, 2019.

A $15 million "Mental Health Service Professional Demonstration" grants will go to programs in which high-need districts team up with colleges or universities to expand the pipeline of trained school-based mental health services providers. The partnerships will provide opportunities to place graduate students in school-based mental health fields into schools served by the participating districts, where they'll gain required field work, credit hours, internships and related training. The deadline for applying to that competition is Aug. 5, 2019.

"Ensuring that our nation's schools are safe and nurturing places to learn is critical to the well-being, safety and long-term success of all students," said Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, in a statement. "These grants will support state and local leaders as they develop and implement the school safety solutions that will work best for them."