Biden-Harris Administration Allocates Over $6 Million in Fresh Grants to Tackle Community Violence and Support Student Mental Health

Vice President Kamala Harris has announced that the U.S. Department of Education (Department) is providing $6.4 million to address community violence. This funding will be distributed to seven school districts across the country as part of the Project Prevent grant program. The announcement was made in Charlotte, North Carolina, with the presence of U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. The purpose is to highlight the efforts of the Biden-Harris Administration in reducing gun violence and increasing access to mental health services for students.

According to Vice President Harris, “Every child deserves the freedom to live safe from gun violence in their school and throughout their community. President Biden and I are committed to protecting this freedom and continuing to address an epidemic of gun violence that has become the leading cause of death for children across America. With today’s announcement, we are reaffirming our Administration’s dedication to preventing this senseless violence and keeping our children, families, and communities safe. As we call on Congress to pass commonsense gun safety policies, we are proud to fund proven solutions like those supported by Project Prevent that help schools increase access to mental health and other resources for their students.”

Secretary Cardona expressed that “The youth mental health crisis and the devastating impact of gun violence on our communities have been mounting for years, but thanks to President Biden’s leadership, we are making historic investments that will reshape how our schools care for students and provide the safe learning environments they need to grow and succeed. Today’s announcement of another $6.4 million in Project Prevent funding complements the Biden-Harris Administration’s unprecedented $2 billion investment secured through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to transform school-based mental health and create safer and more positive school climates. These investments mean that schools and communities will have more resources for the interventions that help keep students safe and healthy. The fact is, we cannot recover academically and Raise the Bar for education in this country unless we meet the needs of the whole child, and that starts with creating safe, welcoming schools where teaching and learning can truly thrive.”

The Project Prevent grants aim to enhance the capacity of local educational agencies (LEAs) impacted by community violence by expanding their ability to implement strategies that prevent and mitigate the effects of such violence. These grants also address the impacts of exposure to community violence. In the fiscal year 2024, seven new grants totaling approximately $6.4 million will focus on establishing connections between schools and community-based organizations. The objective is to provide students with the necessary resources to break cycles of violence and trauma, including mental health services and support.

The awarded funds will enable school districts to identify and assist students who have been exposed to community violence. They will facilitate increased student access to mental health services, support conflict management programs, and implement other strategies at the community and school levels to prevent violence and lessen the impacts of exposure to community violence.

This announcement represents the latest action taken by the Biden-Harris Administration to prevent and reduce the impact of community violence on school communities throughout the country. These grants also contribute to the Administration’s goal of transforming how mental health is addressed in America, a key component of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Unity Agenda. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act has delivered unprecedented resources to support youth mental health and aid students affected by gun violence.

The recipients of the new Project Prevent grants are listed below:

Grantee State Award Amount
Savannah-Chatham County Public School System GA $1,013,113
Osage County Interlocal Cooperative OK $759,624
Buffalo City School District NY $1,013,113
Tahlequah Public Schools OK $954,196
Mastery Charter Schools PA $698,584
Norfolk Public Schools VA $949,264
Educational Service District 105 WA $1,012,267
Total $6,400,161

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