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School Climate and Safety Efforts Get Boost Through Federal Grants

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The U.S. Department of Education has awarded more than $70 million in grants to boost school climate and student safety efforts, the agency announced Tuesday.

The grants flowed through three new programs developed by the administration in the aftermath of the 2012 school shootings in Newtown, Conn.— School Climate Transformation grants, Project Prevent, and School Emergency Management grants. Those were included in the "Now is the Time" initiative, which also included proposals for new gun laws and efforts to boost mental health. Here's a run-down of the grants awarded:

About $35.8 million in School Climate Transformation grants to 71 school districts in 23 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands will be used to support efforts to overhaul approaches to discipline and student support, which the Obama administration advocated for in new discipline guidance it released in January

About $7.3 million in School Climate Transformation grants 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."

About $14.2 million in Project Prevent grants to help 22 school districts in 14 states  "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 funds will be used for school-based or community-based counseling services, social and emotional programs at schools, and conflict resolution programs.

About $13 million in School Emergency Management grants will help 25 states to help school districts create and implement emergency response plans.


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